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California hit by whooping cough epidemic

by AirTalk®

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Safe in the loving arms of his dad, David Snook, one month-old baby boy Zane Flavell is recovering from whooping cough in Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, New Zealand. On the bed his 13-month old brother Marley is fast asleep Bastiaan Beentjes/Getty Images

California is facing the worst whooping cough epidemic in 50 years. Incidence of pertussis is cyclical, with cases peaking every two to five years, and the California Department of Public Health has reported 910 cases this year, quadruple the number reported last year from the same period. The CDPH recommends that children be vaccinated against the highly contagious disease, and that parents, family members, and caregivers of infants get a booster shot. What's behind the increase, and how can whooping cough be prevented and treated?

Resources and facts about whooping cough on the CA Dept. of Public Health website


Dr. Robert Kim-Farley, director of the communicable disease control and prevention program at Los Angeles County Public Health

Dr. Jan Gurley, doctor with the San Francisco Department of Health, practicing internist, and a health writer for the San Francisco Chronicle’s website

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