(AP) -- Health officials say 2012 was the nation's worst year for whooping cough in nearly six decades.
About 42,000 cases were reported last year, the most since 1955. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still gathering information, and the number could rise to as much as 50,000.
Whooping cough tends to run in multi-year cycles, and experts say last year appears to have been a peak. Also, a newer version of the whooping cough vaccine doesn't last as long as expected.
The good news: Deaths from the disease were down last year, to 18. Experts think that doctors were faster at diagnosing and treating the disease during outbreaks.
Whopping cough used to be a bigger problem until a vaccine was developed in the 1940s.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Links require admin approval before posting.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.