Whooping Cough | KERA News

Whooping Cough


Throughout last year, we reported on the spike in cases of whooping cough across North Texas and the rest of the state. (Last September, the state issued a whooping cough alert.)

The numbers are in for last year – and they don’t look good.

Statewide, 3,908 cases were counted -- the highest since the 1950s. About 11 percent of patients were hospitalized. Five deaths were reported.

Texas Department of State Health Services

Don’t turn to the medicine cabinet for cough relief. Turn to the kitchen cabinet.

Tarrant County still leads the state in the number of whooping cough cases this year: 562 to date. But Tarrant Public Health director Lou Brewer says there is good news: not as many children and adults are getting sick. 

“We have pretty much finished looking at the cases and reports for September, and there’s a marked decrease in the number of cases, particularly in the Hispanic population,” Brewer told county commissioners during an update on public health issues.  “So, we’re very happy to see that.”

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. 

State health officials have issued a whopping cough alert.  Dr. Lisa Cornelius, infectious diseases medical officer, calls the number of pertussis, or whooping cough cases in Texas extremely concerning.

The state is on pace to see the most cases since the 1950’s, and state officials are urging people to make sure they are vaccinated.  Texas reports nearly 2,000 cases so far this year with two deaths. Both were infants too young to be vaccinated.

This is shaping up to be the worst year for whooping  cough in Texas since the 1960s. State officials report nearly 1,700 cases of pertussis so far in 2013. About half of those are in North Texas.


Like the U.S. overall, Texas is seeing more cases of pertussis or whooping cough – nearly 1100 people have come down with it this year. Six have died. 

AJ Cann / (cc) flickr

The state of Texas is warning about an increase in whooping cough, or pertussis. Six deaths are reported so far this year, the most since 2005.