Saturday, November 13, 2010

California Breaks 60 Year Old Whooping Cough Record

6,631 cases of whooping cough have been reported up to 9th November 2010 in California, breaking the earlier record of 6,613 in 1950 for the whole year. With another seven weeks until this year ends, it is doubtful that the 1947 figure of 9,394 will be surpassed. The present whooping cough rate across the state is 16.9 per 100,000 people. Of the 200 new reported cases over the last seven days, 63% are confirmed, 19% probable and 19% suspect.

Experts say that the incidence of whooping cough has been steadily rising over the last 25 years, mainly because of a falling number of people, children and babies getting their routine vaccinations. Unfortunately, ten people have died from whooping cough so far this year, all of them babies.

9 of the ten fatalities had not been vaccinated at all, and the other one was a 28-week premature baby who received his first DTaP dose at the age of two months, just 15 days before developing symptoms - too early for immunization to properly kick in. Nine of the babies who died were Hispanic. 90% of the fatalities were aged 2 months or less when disease symptoms started.

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