Whooping Cough Cases Reach 30-Year High in California
The number of pertussis, or whooping cough, cases in California is at its highest point in 30 years, with about three times the number of cases reported last year being reported this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Department of Health Services said doctors have reported 2,169 pertussis cases statewide -- including seven infant deaths -- as of the end of November.
Katrina Kretsinger, a medical epidemiologist with CDC's National Immunization Program, said pertussis is "the most poorly controlled disease among all the diseases for which there has been a vaccine available for some period of time."
Some children remain vulnerable to the disease because they do not receive all recommended vaccines. Other children's immunity to the disease might wear off during adolescence.
Federal health officials this year began recommending pertussis booster shots for teenagers and adults (Chong, Los Angeles Times, 12/14).