Texas reports more than 2,300 cases of whooping cough so far this year, the highest in 50 years. A new report on California’s 2010 whooping cough outbreak links clusters of unvaccinated people with areas that had the highest number of whooping cough cases.
Chris Van Deusen with the Texas Department of State Health Services says the same cannot be said for Texas.
“It doesn’t seem to be an obvious link to that,” Van Deusen said. “But we’ve not had the kind of in depth study that they looked at in California’s outbreak from a few years ago. Looking at school age children, still the vast majority of children are vaccinated.”
In Texas, 97 percent of public and private school students in kindergarten and 7th grade are vaccinated, according to state records.
Dallas-Fort Worth leads the state in the number of whooping cough cases. Health officials say Tarrant and Denton are among the four counties with the highest number of “conscientious objections”, in the 2,000 to 3,000 range.
Parents may obtain an exemption from the state and decline to vaccinate their children on religious, philosophical or other non-medical reasons.