In March, the state of Washington reported 640 cases of Whooping Cough. By April 4, the Department of Health reported 29 new cases in Jefferson County.
"We've been an epidemic probably since the end of February," said Julia Danskin, JCPH nursing director.
By April 14, the health department stated the bacteria continued to spread and Jefferson County ordered everyone over 19 and in contact with infants vaccinated. The health department even opened a clinic for people with no health insurance or whose health insurance did not cover the cost of vaccinations to receive the vaccination without cost.
"We hope people will get vaccinated, especially if they are going to be around infants," Danskin said.
As of Monday May 14, the health department reported 21 confirmed cases and six suspected cases in Jefferson County. In North Olympic Peninsula, the health department reported 26 confirmed cases.
Meanwhile, Kingdom League International began prayer for Jefferson County and on May 25, they declared that they halted Whooping Cough in the county through prayer. They made this claim despite the fact the PTLeader reported that the health department said they confirmed 21 cases of Whooping Cough for Jefferson County on May 14. They also established councils to connect with the seven spheres of society.
According to the site, on March 27, a county Commissioner of Jefferson County asked them to pray about the epidemic. Since April 13, the site stated that there have been no more confirmed cases of Whooping Cough in the county, pointing to the article, which declared "no new cases of Whooping Cough since April 13" even though the bacteria still spreads through Jefferson County.
Then Kingdom League International stated the police chief asked for prayer concerning crime over the holidays. According to Kingdom League, the crime rate dropped more than 50% over the holidays.
One brave person posted a question, asking if the Kingdom League was claiming the "halting of Whooping Cough" was evidence that prayer works and not evidence that vaccination works. Tim Taylor, co-founder and overseer of Kingdom League International, replied and said, "Yes, that is exactly what I am saying and it is based on my experience."
The poster further pressed Taylor about his statement concerning prayer working, instead of a natural explanation, using the scientific method. Taylor's response was to ask the poster if he had a personal relationship with Jesus and if he met Jesus, instead of answering his questions, but later admitted that he did not agree that natural explanations trumps supernatural ones. Taylor truly believes that the epidemic ceased due to prayer and not vaccinations.
While infants are at the highest risk of complications, most of them get the disease through younger children and adults around them, health officials say. That's why officials urge that the best way to protect young children is to become immunized.