Whooping Cough Epidemic in California Claims 5 Infants So Far

From the L.A. Times:

Whooping cough is now at epidemic levels in California and the state could record the highest number of illnesses and death due to the disease in 50 years, the state’s top health official said Wednesday.

Reported cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have quadrupled over the same time period last year, said Dr. Mark Horton, director of the California Department of Public Health. Five infants — all under 3 months — have died, including two in Los Angeles County and one in San Bernardino County.

Whooping cough is a bacterial disease that infects the respiratory system. There have been 910 confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease in California between Jan. 1 and June 15. During the same time last year, 219 cases were confirmed.

An additional 600 possible cases are being investigated.

L.A. County has reported 148 suspected pertussis cases, said Director of Public Health Jonathan Fielding. He urged infants’ relatives and caregivers to get a booster shot.

Vaccination only works if there are enough people immune to break the cycle of infection. Here’s a related story from last year:

Tamaulipas health officials are reporting that two babies have died from whooping cough south of the border.

The MetroNoticias de Tamaulipas newspaper reported that health officials are investigating how the children contracted the disease.

Several cases of the deadly disease have recently reported among children along the Mexican side of the border.

The Tamaulipas Healthy Ministry told MetroNoticias that the two babies who died were from the border cities of Rio Bravo and Nuevo Laredo.

Rio Bravo is located cross the Rio Grande River from Donna, Texas.

I think that it is a bad idea to have illegal immigrants carrying unknown diseases mixing freely in public places with the immunocompromised and with children whose parents have refused to vaccinate them due to their belief that vaccination is worse than the diseases they are supposed to prevent, but that’s just me. Draw your own conclusions.

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