Whooping Cough Outbreak Spreads On Long Island; More Than 200 Cases Reported


whooping-coughLong Island, NY – An alarming rise in a potentially fatal bacterial infection known as whooping cough has prompted a warning from the Suffolk County Health Department.

It’s a tell-tale sign winter is coming – children and their colds.

But what’s going around this year is a potentially fatal bacterial cough known as pertussis or whooping cough, reports CBS 2’s Emily Smith.

It’s a chronic cough, almost a barking sound, that can last more than three months, and it is spread easily through droplets.

“My wife is on a bus, educational bus, so she is with kids all the time every day. But she hasn’t been sick yet,” local resident Steven Piering said Tuesday.

WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs On The Story

The whooping cough outbreak started with 13 cases in Smithtown on Long Island in June. Since then it has spread to more than a dozen districts in Suffolk County, including Northport.

“They get colds at home. They bring it on the bus. They bring it to school. They’re bringing it home,” a school bus driver told WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs.

And what’s particularly concerning to health officials is this most recent outbreak has the highest number of cases reported since 2006 when there were 110 for the year. Now it’s 216 cases of whooping cough for the year so far.

“That’s kind of scary. I wonder what’s going on, why this outbreak started. What’s going on?” one resident asked.

That’s the question. What’s causing this sudden and sharp rise in whooping cough has yet to be determined, said Dr. Dennis Russo with the Suffolk County Health Department. He said it might be as simple as more doctors are detecting and diagnosing it, or it could be an increase in some parents’ decision to forgo vaccinating their kids.

“We like to have everyone vaccinated and create a cocoon effect, so that everyone around them is vaccinated and the disease is milder,” Dr. Russo said.

“I’m not too concerned because my son has the vaccine,” added Maria Sangiorgi of Lindenhurst.

Health officials said early detection and antibiotic treatment are the keys to better health and preventing the spread of whooping cough.

The majority of the students who have been infected with whooping cough had been immunized, which health officials said may account for their milder illness.

Babies who are not yet fully immunized are the most at risk of death from the infection.

{CBS Local/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. The parents SAY that these kids were immunized. There has been trouble in the frum community in the past with phony vaccination certifications. It seems some of us can’t grasp the fact that laws aren’t made to be broken. If there’s a regulation that a child has to be vaccinated before starting school, there’s a reason. You don’t just fake the certificate because it’s a “goyish” law. Whooping cough can kill, measles can cause brain damage, mumps can cause sterility. And it might be your kid, not “yenem’s.” GET YOUR CHILD VACCINATED NOW.

  2. they only begin vaccinating at 6 weeks i personally know of more than one baby in brooklyn who recently got whooping cough before that age

  3. people dont realize the danger of many diseases before its to late all children should be vaccinated by all possible vaccines, even if a older child cant die from the disease they can c”v spread it it someone who is susceptible to the disease, please b responsible and keep kids home from school till they are completely rid of the disease there are not 200 cases there are 200 reported cases there are tunz of unreported cases if everyone gets vaccinated it can create herd immunization – the more people are immune so less people can get it so less people can pass it on, vaccinations are crucial to the health of children and the people around them

  4. Parents of newborn babies should have the vaccination. I know that’s what my doctor said when I had a baby during a similar outbreak. (and ideally any adults who will be in close contact with the baby)