More than 20 cases of whooping cough have been reported in Princeton this year, a sharp rise compared with previous years, Princeton Health Officer Dave Henry said.
Ar least 20 to 25 cases have been reported in the two Princetons since January 1. In 2011 only one case was reported, Henry said.
“Some cases may be because of overcrowding,” Henry told the Borough Council in response to comments by resident Jim Floyd, who raised concerns about overcrowding and health issues. The health department is mapping the locations of the reported cases, he said.
Whooping cough is on the rise in many areas this year. Health officials say some reasons for the increase could be parents delaying vaccinations for their kids, or not getting children vaccinated at all. Many adults also no longer have immunity from their childhood vaccinations and have not received booster shots.
Henry said kids, adults and elderly residents should be up to date on their vaccinations.
“Some folks in their 50s have come down with whooping cough. Especially if you are going to be around young children, you should get your booster if you are due.”
Health experts say that anyone with a nagging cough to seek medical attention, especially if it is a violent cough. A person can spread this disease for 3 weeks after the first symptoms appear.