WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

Whooping cough cases increase in California

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) announced on Friday that the number of pertussis cases is increasing.

CDHP received 2,649 reports of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, through May 27 this year, more than the entire amount of cases reported in 2013. More than 800 whooping cough cases were reported in April, a monthly count not seen since the 2010 pertussis epidemic.

"The number of pertussis cases is likely to continue to increase," Ron Chapman, the CDPH director, said. "As an important preventive measure, we recommend that pregnant women receive a pertussis vaccine booster during the third trimester of each pregnancy, and that infants be vaccinated as soon as possible."

Sixty-six of all hospitalizations due to whooping cough in California this year have been children four months of age or younger, two of whom have died. Infants too young for pertussis immunization tend to be the most vulnerable to the disease.

The first dose of a pertussis vaccination is recommended at two months of age for newborns, but can be given as early as six weeks in the event of an outbreak.

Whooping cough symptoms include a cough and runny nose for children. Infants may not show typical symptoms though they may have episodes in which their face turns red or people.