By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Sen. Charles Schumer is calling on the Centers for Disease Control to launch an all-out effort in New York and around the country to combat the startling rise in cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.
Whooping cough is a transmissible disease that can strike individuals of any age, but is particularly dangerous to children. The U.S. is headed for its worst year for whooping cough in more than 50 years, and in New York, there has been a threefold increase in cases from 2011 to 2012, according to the CDC.
Schumer said the CDC should work with the New York State Health Department to provide free vaccinations and establish clinics to administer booster shots to adults. He also urged the CDC to launch a public information campaign to encourage adults who have not been vaccinated since the age of 18 to get vaccinated.
“Whooping cough is rearing its ugly head and we need to get on top of this highly contagious disease before it becomes too big to control. It is not simply a nuisance, it can be deadly,” Schumer said.
Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial disease which affects all age groups, although it is more dangerous for young children and the elderly. It can be distinguished from the common cold by the characteristic “whooping” sound when coughing.