ATLANTA — Whooping cough was once a terrible menace to U.S. children, with hundreds of thousands of cases reported annually.
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Then a vaccine drove cases down, and the illness became thought of as rare and even antiquated.
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But it never totally disappeared, and now there’s been a spike in cases.
With nearly 18,000 cases so far this year, health officials say this is shaping up to be the worst national epidemic in more than 50 years for the highly contagious disease.
Worrisome numbers have been reported in more than a dozen states.
What’s a parent to do?