Whooping cough caused quite a crisis in Western Montana earlier this year. Several school systems called off classes due to severe outbreaks of the illness. Nationwide some people died. It was being called one of the biggest outbreaks of whooping cough in decades. Now researchers may have tracked down a partial cause. A vaccine introduced in the 1990’s loses its effectiveness faster than originally thought.  The research is in today’s New England Journal of Medicine.  Health officials are considering a number of possible recommendations, including another booster shot, strengthening the vaccine or developing  a new vaccine.

As late as June 5th Missoula’s City/County Health Department was advising children and seniors to get immunized.