Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 7:29 pm
Pharmacist Kristy Hennessee administers a vaccination against whooping cough in Pasadena, Calif., in 2010. Vaccinations are the most powerful weapon for slowing the epidemic, but there are growing concerns that the current vaccine doesn't last as long as expected.
Credit Robyn Beck / AFP/Getty Images
Whooping cough is getting a foothold once again in the U.S., and it seems to be getting stronger. More than 20,000 cases have been reported so far this year, compared with only about 8,500 last year, and Washington State has already declared a whooping cough epidemic.
A Pakistani man wheels Jamshid, an 8-year-old girl with polio, around the outskirts of the capital Islamabad last July.
Credit Behrouz Mehri / AFP/Getty Images
The drive to wipe polio from the face of the earth is in jeopardy.
Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan are the only three countries left where poliovirus remains endemic. But work to put the paralyzing virus on the ropes there is in danger of failing. Cases in all three countries jumped last year.
Weak public health systems, armed conflicts and corruption have hurt vaccination efforts. Now leading public health officials have proposed an emergency plan of action to get things back on track..