Whooping Cough in Minnesota
The Minnesota Department of Health reports 670 cases of whooping cough in the state for the year through May 15. The cases are largely centered in and around the Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) publish the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) on a weekly basis. In it, the CDC reports various numerical data on the number of cases of notifiable illnesses in the United States and the individual states and territories. The latest MMWR is for week 19 of 2012, reporting data through May 12, 2012. That report was released yesterday, May 17.
All 19 of the 2012 reports have shown Minnesota as having no pertussis cases. Media reports contradict that data.
Kristen from the CDC called with an explanation. The state of Minnesota is trying to implement a new electronic reporting system and they have reported nothing for the year as yet.
Claudia Miller from the Minnesota Department of Health verified that statement. The DoH is struggling to bring the system on-line. The deadline for reporting final case counts for 2011 to the CDC is coming up, so the DoH is concentrating on reporting the 2011 data first. Ms. Miller believes that the 2012 data will be reported by the end of June, 2012, and be reported weekly after that.
The 670 pertussis cases in Minnesota in 2012 do not appear in the CDC’s data. Our reporting, until now, was based on that faulty data. The missing cases represent an additional 7.5 percent increase in the national case count.
The number of pertussis cases in the United States for 2012 through May 12 is 9,586. That represents 62 percent more cases of whooping cough than for the same 19 weeks in 2011. Minnesota ranks fourth nationally in cases.
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