At least 3014 cases of whooping cough in the state of Washington as of July 14th 2012 have been diagnosed which is the most of any single U.S. state at present. Part of the reason for this is we no longer have 90% of the population immunized for Pertussis which is the formal name for whooping cough.
In 1950 when I got whooping cough because my parents didn't believe in shots to prevent whooping cough luckily I was 2 years old already so there is more likelihood a child will survive it the later they get it. And the younger they get it the more likely they will die or have seizures or other problems from it.
For example, I almost died from it and often could not breathe because of the coughing. My mother said I would cough until I turned blue sometimes and then I would sometimes just pass out from coughing. Later, when I was 10 years old I got childhood epilepsy which might have been related to the coughing because of all the pressure the constant coughing puts on the brain. However, my son who is a nurse told me that the only kind of epilepsy one grows out of like I did is blunt trauma epilepsy from a blow to the head where the skull in dented. So, over time the skull gets larger as the child grows and the pressure on the brain is removed from the brain. So, I outgrew my epilepsy by age 15 years.
Other states where there are documented cases of whooping cough now are Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont and Maine and Alaska.
Health care professionals say this is the worst outbreak of whooping cough in 50 years and 9 have died already this year in the U.S.
Source NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams as well as my own experience surviving whooping cough I had in 1950 when I was 2.
Also, since at the time my son was born in 1974 I also didn't believe in shots I didn't get him a pertussis shot either and he got whooping cough at age 2 also. However, my next two biological children I made sure had the Pertussis shot sometimes called a DPT shot that is usually given to very young children and babies at the appropriate time.
here is a quote about DPT shots from Wikipedia:
DPT (also DTP and DTwP) refers to a class of combination vaccines against three infectious diseases in humans: diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough) and tetanus. The vaccine components include diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and killed whole cells of the organism that causes pertussis (wP). end quote from Wikipedia under the heading "DPT shots".