Researchers have discovered the first U.S. cases of a vaccine-resistant whooping cough germ. This case comes after a new bug was identified in Japan, France, and Finland.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease that can strike people of any age but is most dangerous to children. It was once common, but cases in the U.S. dropped after a vaccine was introduced in the 1940s. An increase in illnesses in recent years has been partially blamed on a version of the vaccine used since the 1990s, which doesn’t last as long. Last year, the CDC received reports of 41,880 cases, according to a preliminary count. That included 18 deaths.
The new study suggests that the new whooping cough strain may be why more people have been getting sick. Experts don’t think it’s more deadly, but the shots may not work as well against it.
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