According to new surveillance statistics released on Friday from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), forty-seven states in the U.S. are now reporting widespread influenza activity . The virus, which first appeared in the Southeast, has reached epidemic levels.
In early April, the Washington State Department of Health declared a pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic. The state has seen over 1,200 cases so far this year, and officials suspect there will be at least another few thousand cases before year’s end; levels that haven’t been seen in over 60 years. In response to the declared epidemic, the state has been working to make vaccines more accessible to uninsured patients. Additional response measures have included urging employers to encourage employee vaccination and instructing hospitals to vaccinate new parents.