Advanced Health Conditions

Whooping Cough Epidemic

When was the last time you received a pertussis- or whooping cough vaccine booster? What about your children? Are their vaccinations up to date?

Ever since children began receiving DPT (diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus) shots as part of routine early childhood health regimine, whooping cough is not something most people worry about. Yet, the California Department fo Public Health now recommends that everyone be immunized against this highly contagious disease, especially if they come in contact with infants.

"We are facing a whooping cough epidemic over the last two years," says John Hallour, M.D. "Whooping cough is a preventable disease and, in rare instances, it can be life-threatening, especially among very young babies who have not been immunized.

Statistics from the Department of Public Health show that the number of cases is dramatically increasing. More than 9,000 cases were reported in California in 2010, the most since 1947. Last year, 10 infants died of the disease. In 2011 the numbers continue to rise.