Cantwell, Sec. Selecky Call on CDC Investigators to Help Stem WA Whooping Cough Epidemic


“A swift response is critical to stem this outbreak and save lives,” said Cantwell. “With dozens of new cases occurring every week, there is no time to waste. That’s why we’re making sure our state health officials have every available resource to stem this outbreak of whooping cough. These CDC investigators will help us pinpoint and eliminate its spread.”

On April 3, 2012, Selecky declared a statewide whooping cough epidemic. And yesterday Governor Chris Gregoire announced the state would purchase more than 27,000 doses of whooping cough vaccine for uninsured and underinsured adults.

“We’re seeing an unprecedented number of whooping cough cases this year, and we want help tracking and responding to them,” said Selecky. “That’s why we’re asking the CDC to our state to work hand-in-hand with our staff.”

On Tuesday, the DOH reported that there have been 1,132 cases of whooping cough since January 1, 2012 – nearly 10 times the number of reported cases (117) in 2011 during that same period of time and dozens more cases than the previous week. Nearly three-quarters (819 of 1,132) of all cases this year have occurred in Snohomish, Skagit, Pierce, King, and Clark counties. Twelve counties have reported no whopping cough cases. If the epidemic continues at its current rate, DOH officials estimate that 2012 will contain the highest levels of whooping cough cases in more than 60 years. For more information, see the latest DOH weekly update on the whooping cough epidemic here.

In fiscal year 2011, the CDC responded to 84 requests for Epi-Aid teams, which were sent to 39 states, three U.S. territories, and 14 foreign countries. In 2011, Epi-Aid investigators conducted 293 field investigations around the world. Examples of past Epi-Aid investigations include a risk assessment for rabies following exposure to a bat on an airplane in Wisconsin last August and chlorine gas exposure at a poultry processing plant in Arkansas last June. Epi-Aid investigators played key roles in CDC’s response to the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic and the Haiti cholera epidemic after the January 2010 earthquake. Funding for the new doses of vaccines announced yesterday – and for a large part of the Epi-Aid program – comes from the federal Prevention and Public Health Fund. Cantwell supported the fund’s creation in 2009.

A common cause of the illness among children is adults who unknowingly have whooping cough and pass it on. Adults with whooping cough often display mild symptoms that appear to be a cold or the flu and don’t realize the severity of their illness. Among children, whooping cough can be lethal. In 2011, a mother in Snohomish County, Chelsey Charles, lost her 27-day old infant, Kaliah, after the baby came down with whooping cough. More than 80 percent of cases reported so far this year have been among people ages 18 and younger.

For additional information about whooping cough, please visit the CDC’s website.  

Anglers Enjoy Big Trout, Nice Weather on Opening Day of Lowland Lakes Season

The 10 lakes with the top catch-and-keep rates were:

  • Ellen Lake, Ferry County (5)
  • Warden Lake, Grant County (5)
  • Panther Lake, Kitsap County (4.6)
  • Clara Lake, Mason County (4.4)
  • Crabapple Lake, Snohomish County (4.3)
  • Mudgett Lake, Stevens County (4.1)
  • Steel Lake, King County (4.1)
  • Devereaux Lake, Mason County (4.1)
  • Mission Lake, Kitsap County (4)
  • Sixteen Lake, Skagit County (4)

“It’s important to remember that we stock lakes with trout for the whole season, not just opening day,” Donley said. “Trout fishing should be highly productive in lowland lakes through June, and then again in September.”

Anglers looking for information about where to fish can find it on WDFW’s new Fish Washington! Online look-up tool at http://wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/washington/ .

The following is the entire opening day creel report. (The column showing “average number of fish caught” includes fish released.)

County Lake #Anglers Checked Average # fish caught/angler Average # fish harvested/angler
Chelan Beehive 37 3.6 2.73
Chelan Clear 36 3.4 2.92
Chelan Lily 32 2.4 2.38
Chelan Wapato 65 2.7 2.58
Douglas Jameson 5 2.6 2.00
Ferry Lake Ellen 11 5.4 5.00
Grant Warden 80 4.95 4.09
Grant Blue 66 1.88 1.88
Grant Park 148 3.34 2.91
Grant Deep 64 5.48 3.13
Grant Vic Meyers 29 1.34 1.21
Grays Harbor Aberdeen 134 2.88 1.31
Grays Harbor Sylvia 34 1.26 1.09
Grays Harbor Vance Ponds #1 27 1.50 1.18
Grays Harbor Vance Ponds #2 39 2.95 2.62
Grays Harbor Failor 58 5.44 3.01
Jefferson Anderson Lake 75 4.3 3.1
Jefferson Horseshoe (Jef) 10 1.9 0.4
Jefferson Ludlow 14 0.5 0.5
Jefferson Sandy Shore 65 4.5 3.9
Jefferson Silent Lake 8 8.4 3.5
Jefferson Tarboo 39 1.8 1.8
King Cottage 70 4.3 1.43
King Geneva 27 4.9 2.41
King Langlois 51 6.3 3.75
King Margaret 55 3.1 1.36
King North 12 3.5 3.50
King Pine 75 5.1 3.07
King Steel 23 4.7 4.13
King Walker 33 5.4 4.18
Kitsap Buck 16 3.4 1.4
Kitsap Horseshoe (Kit) 49 6.0 3.0
Kitsap Mission 39 6.5 4.1
Kitsap Panther 40 5.6 4.6
Kitsap Wildcat 65 3.9 2.8
Kitsap Wye 31 4.3 3.9
Klickitat Rowland 47 5.36 2.21
Klickitat Spearfish 30 3.87 2.93
Klickitat Horsethief 36 3.89 3.28
Lewis Plummer 28 2.82 1.32
Lewis Ft. Borst Pk.Pd. 291 1.34 0.95
Lewis Carlisle 33 13.06 0.82
Lewis Mineral 87 8.07 3.11
Lincoln Fish Trap 27 4.4 3.00
Mason Aldrich Lake 7 6.9 3.9
Mason Benson 36 4.8 3.7
Mason Clara 13 5.3 4.4
Mason Devereaux 36 4.1 2.8
Mason Haven Lake 10 13.7 3.2
Mason Howell Lake 18 5.0 4.2
Mason Limerick 22 4.0 2.7
Mason Phillips Lake 28 6.8 4.8
Mason Robbins Lake 15 4.7 3.8
Mason Stump 39 1.6 1.4
Mason Tiger Lake 70 4.5 3.5
Mason Wildberry Lake 1 7.0 3.0
Mason Wood Lake 6 3.5 2.7
Mason Wooten Lake 49 3.8 3.5
Okanogan Alta 95 3.8 2.80
Okanogan Fish 45 2.9 2.07
Okanogan Wannacut 15 3.4 3.40
Okanogan Pearrygin 59 1.4 1.27
Okanogan Conconully Res. 40 2.0 2.00
Okanogan Conconully Lake 51 0.8 0.84
Pacific Black 32 1.66 1.34
Pend Oreille Diamond Lake 44 3.5 1.68
Pierce Bay 114 4.65 3.82
Pierce Carney 27 4.78 1.89
Pierce Clear 41 5.88 3.41
Pierce Jackson 4 2.50 2.50
Pierce Ohop 55 2.67 2.29
Pierce Rapjohn 29 3.34 3.07
Pierce Silver 38 1.89 1.55
Pierce Tanwax 49 3.71 2.82
Skagit Heart 112 4.1 2.95
Skagit McMurray 65 3.9 3.06
Skagit Sixteen 56 4.0 2.96
Skamania Swift Reservoir 40 3.30 2.25
Skamania Kidney 42 3.52 2.17
Snohomish Armstrong 26 1.5 0.58
Snohomish Bosworth 31 3.9 3.23
Snohomish Crabapple 16 4.3 2.13
Snohomish Ki 76 2.8 1.47
Snohomish Martha (AM) 46 3.3 2.02
Snohomish Riley 72 4.4 2.72
Snohomish Serene 18 6.2 2.56
Snohomish Stickney 11 6.3 1.73
Snohomish Storm 53 3.4 2.47
Snohomish Wagner 10 6.5 1.10
Spokane Badger 28 2.5 2.40
Spokane Williams 61 5.5 3.90
Spokane Fish Lake 49 3.3 2.00
Spokane West Medical 88 4.6 3.10
Spokane Clear Lake 37 3.4 2.10
Stevens Cedar Lake 25 4.4 3.28
Stevens Mudgett Lake 22 4.2 4.14
Stevens Rocky Lake 17 2.8 2.71
Stevens Starvation Lake 19 3.7 3.68
Stevens Waitts Lake 28 7.0 2.68
Thurston Clear 88 5.18 3.81
Thurston Deep 62 1.92 1.81
Thurston Hicks 35 2.74 2.06
Thurston Long 46 5.09 3.98
Thurston McIntosh 84 3.85 2.96
Thurston Pattison 36 3.03 1.47
Thurston Summit 65 5.55 4.05
Thurston Ward 39 4.56 2.15
Whatcom Cain 42 6.4 3.81
Whatcom Padden 58 4.8 3.88
Whatcom Silver 132 4.9 3.04
Whatcom Toad 65 7.6 3.34
TOTALS 5129 3.99 2.60

Whooping Cough Reaching Epidemic Levels in Washington State

The state health department says it’s especially important for anyone who has close contact with babies younger than 12 months to get a dose of Tdap to help protect the baby from whooping cough. This includes parents, siblings, grandparents, health care providers, and child care providers.

“Many adults don’t realize they need to be vaccinated, or they assume they have been,” said State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. “We’re asking everyone to verify with their health care provider that they’re up-to-date on vaccines. We’re also asking everyone to use good health manners — like cover your cough and stay home when you’re sick — that will also help prevent spreading whooping cough.”

Whooping cough (www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize/diseases/pertussis), also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory illness spread by coughing and sneezing. It affects people of all ages — but is most serious in infants, especially those too young to get vaccinated or who aren’t fully protected. It causes cold-like symptoms followed by a long, severe cough (www.pkids.org/diseases/pertussis.html) that can last for weeks. Adolescents and adults often get a much milder case of whooping cough, but they can still spread it.

The Department of Health is introducing a new public service radio announcement this week reminding people how serious whooping cough can be and to get vaccinated. The spot features Secretary Selecky along with a Snohomish County Mom who talks about losing her newborn daughter to whooping cough. The radio announcement is on the agency’s website (www.doh.wa.gov/Newsroom/sound/DOH_WA_WhoopingCough_30_329.asx) and will be shared with radio stations across the state.

We’re working to raise awareness among health care providers about the epidemic, and providing advice on testing, who should be vaccinated, and treatment guidelines. We’re also working closely with local health partners on disease tracking and monitoring to make sure we continue to have current information about the amount of disease in Washington. Weekly updates of case counts in counties throughout the state are posted online on Tuesday afternoons around three o’clock.

All recommended vaccines are offered at no cost to all kids under 19 through health care provider offices participating in the state’s Childhood Vaccine Program. Health care providers may charge an office visit fee and a fee to give the vaccine, called an administration fee. People who cannot afford the administration fee can ask their regular health care provider if they’ll waive that cost. Most health insurance carriers will cover the whooping cough vaccine; adults should double-check with their health plan.

More information on preventing whooping cough is available on the Department of Health website (www.doh.wa.gov). Also, find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Gov. Gregoire announces certification for 138 transportation projects

Infrastructure project certifications enable the governor to confirm to the federal government that construction projects ― roads, water systems and others ― have received the review required by law and represent an appropriate investment of taxpayer dollars.

Washington expects to receive more than $4.5 billion from the federal stimulus package that will be used to modernize Washington’s infrastructure, enhance energy independence, expand educational opportunities, increase access to health care and provide tax relief. The White House estimates the package will sustain or create nearly 75,000 jobs in Washington state.

In addition to the certification of the 138 transportation projects, the governor announced that the Federal Aviation Administration has provided stimulus funds to four Washington airports:

-Bellingham International Airport ($800,000)
-Paine Field in Snohomish County ($11.3 million)
-Grant County International Airport in Moses Lake ($2 million)
-Pangborn in Wenatchee ($1 million)

Gregoire also announced that $38 million in economic stimulus funds will be distributed soon to make improvements to Washington’s water systems. To see the list of projects under consideration, visit: http://www.doh.wa.gov/ehp/dw/draft_list.pdf.

To date, the state has distributed approximately $177 million of its federal economic stimulus money, most in Medicaid Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) funding.

Washington state is administering the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act investments with an unprecedented level of transparency and accountability. Gregoire created a new Web site, www.recovery.wa.gov, so every Washingtonian can see where tax dollars are going and hold government accountable for the results. On the federal level, President Obama has appointed Vice President Biden to oversee all states’ recovery efforts and to root out waste and fraud. This combined oversight will ensure taxpayer dollars are put to good use and recharge the economy.