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More Vaccine Exemptions = More Pertussis

United States Department of Health and Human Services

Pertussis, or whooping cough, was almost unknown in America 40 years ago. 

Cases in 1976 numbered barely over a thousand.  But in the years since vaccine resistance grew, so did cases of pertussis, up to nearly 50,000 just five years ago. 

A new study of outbreaks and vaccine resistance show them in close proximity physically.  Harvard University immunologist Barry Bloom is one of the authors of the study, and our guest. 

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Geoffrey Riley is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and has hosted the Jefferson Exchange on JPR since 2009. He's been a broadcaster in the Rogue Valley for more than 35 years, working in both television and radio.