SUNDAY, JUNE 24, 2018

Oregon health officials express fears that whooping cough migrating

Oregon health officials have expressed concern that the whooping cough epidemic currently taking place in California could soon cross the border into their state.

Last week, the California Department of Public Health Center for Infectious Diseases revealed that 1,500 people have been diagnosed with whooping cough so far this year, five times the average for this point in the year, reports. Additionally, another 700 potential cases are being investigated.

The outbreak has also resulted in the deaths of six infants under the age of three months.

Oregon's Jackson County has already reported 33 cases of whooping cough, which is four times higher than the average, leaving health officials worried.

"It looks as if diseases come up the I-5 corridor," Jim Shames, of the Jackson County Health Department, told "It looks as if we're a destination point and often what you see in LA or San Francisco can very quickly reflect what we see in Jackson County."

Children are most at risk from the highly communicable whooping cough and are generally infected by their families. Because of their weaker immune systems and because they cannot be completely vaccinated until six months of age, newborns are at an even higher risk for contracting whooping cough.