Once thought to be eradicated, whooping cough is making a comeback, up as much as 400% in some states. News cases are being reported in Florida, with an estimated 274 cases this year, 52 in Central Florida.
Properly known as Pertussis, the vaccine for whooping cough was once a widely given immunization until 1980, but then began a sharp drop in use as people forgot about the fatal illness.
States in the Northwest like Washington are seeing thousands of new cases, along with New York, Idaho and Wisconsin.
The illness is most common in infants and toddlers, but can also affect adults, as is now the case. Most people no longer are immunized against whooping cough, and even less are aware that a booster shot is needed once a person reached 21 years of age.
Common symptoms include cold-like attributes and persistent coughing and wheezing and a high temperature and occasionally lethargy. The illness can be fatal, especially in infants or those with weak immune systems.