Officials: U.S. Whooping Cough Epidemic Worst In 50 Years | U.S. health officials said today that Whooping cough is causing the nation’s worst epidemic in 50 years, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling for mass vaccinations of adults to combat it. Nationwide, 18,000 cases have been reported to the CDC. Last year, there were 27,000 cases in the entire year, so, “We may need to go back to 1959 to find as many cases,” said CDC’s Dr. Anne Schuchat. With 3,000 cases, Washington state has been hit especially hard, and budget cuts have hampered the state’s response. To try to slow the infection rate, Mary Selecky, Washington Department of Health secretary, said the state so far has distributed 27,000 doses of a booster vaccine for uninsured adults and has ordered more.