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Wed May 16, 2012
Whooping Cough Cases Rise In NM, As Fewer Get Shots
Health officials say a three-fold increase in the number of New Mexico children exempt from required vaccinations may be a factor in the state's jump of whooping cough cases.
The Albuquerque Journal reports that a recent New Mexico Department of Health report shows the number of New Mexico children exempt from required vaccinations has tripled since 1999 to nearly 3,400.
Meanwhile, the state has seen a spike in pertussis, or whooping cough, from 85 cases in 2009 to 274 cases in 2011.
About 112 pertussis cases were reported this year through May 5. Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial illness that attacks the respiratory system.
New Mexico law allows parents to exempt their children from required vaccinations by claiming a religious or personal belief that forbids vaccinations.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.