Saturday, December 17, 2005


SACRAMENTO – Mirroring trends seen across the nation, California is experiencing a dramatic increase in the number of cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, Interim State Health Officer Dr. Howard Backer announced today. From January through August, four infants died from pertussis and 1,276 cases of the disease were reported. For the same period last year, two infants died from pertussis and 450 cases of the disease were reported. Moreover, the number of deaths and illnesses due to pertussis through August of this year has already surpassed the totals for all of last year, in which three infants died and 1,130 became ill. One third of this year’s cases occurred in infants less than 1 year of age and 80 percent were hospitalized.

"Pertussis is most severe in infants younger than 1 year," said Dr. Backer. "To be fully protected, babies must get their shots at 2, 4, 6, 12 and 15 months. The first 2-month dose may be given as early as six weeks after birth."

Pertussis is an infection of the respiratory tract caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria that is spread when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. The first symptoms are similar to those of a common cold, such as runny nose, sneezing and dry cough. These symptoms are followed by severe coughing spells that may last for more than a minute and tend to occur at night. Between coughing spells, unvaccinated children tend to gasp for air with a characteristic "whooping" sound, hence the term "whooping cough." However, young infants, who are at highest risk for severe disease, older children and adults may not make this sound. Coughing spells may also cause the child to turn blue in the face or vomit. The cough often continues for several weeks or months.

"Infants may catch pertussis from teens and adults who were vaccinated as children, but whose immunity has worn off," said Dr. Backer. The childhood vaccine is given only until age 7.

"A new pertussis vaccine booster is now available for teens and adults," Backer added. "Also, parents should keep their newborn away from individuals suffering from coughs and colds. They should contact a physician when their child has a moderate to severe cough illness, especially if he or she experiences prolonged coughing spells, turns red or blue followed by vomiting or coughing occurs together with a whooping sound."

For more information about immunization requirements and vaccine-preventable diseases, parents should contact their child’s physician or local health department’s immunization program. Local health departments provide low-cost or free immunizations for children without health insurance.

Publishers note:

Why are we seeing such an increase? The massive influx of third world invaders who have braoght with them, diseases we had effectively defeated. This is a situation, as stated before on this blog, that all Americans should be outraged by. Not only do we have to absorb the cost of these squatters, but now, suffer thier plaques.