There is word of a huge pertussis epidemic in the state of Washington. So far this year, there have been 640 reported cases through March compared to 94 cases during the same period in 2011. If my math is correct, that's a 649% increase, which is quite possibly more than even Apple's stock increased over the same period.* Per a report in the Seattle Times, if the trend continues, this would equal an outbreak not seen since the 1940's! The article also contains a telling anecdote describing a mother who passed pertussis to her one-month old infant, who turned blue and had to spend a week in the ICU and a month in the hospital.
This outbreak isn't limited to Washington. In 2010, whooping cough killed 10 infants and infected over 9,000 in California, which was the state's worst outbreak in 60 years.
Why is this happening? I won't go into all of the reasons, as we've had plenty of posts on the topic over the years. I'll just refer you to Red Sox fan and PLoS co-founder Michael Eisen's tweet from yesterday. In an earlier tweet he mentioned that 34% of the parents in his daughter's school don't fully vaccinate their kids. I agree that this is all Jenny McCarthy's fault and anyone who listens to her or gives her a voice. It is clear that after years of neglect, the public health community is so weak that it can't even compete with Jenny 'Effin' McCarthy.
*By law, nothing is allowed a larger percent increase than Apple's stock.