Skip to content

Children's Vaccines Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Whooping Cough Epidemic in California


WebMD News from HealthDay

June 17, 2014 -- More than 3,400 new cases of whooping cough were reported in California between January 1 and June 10, which means the outbreak is officially an epidemic, according to the state's department of health.

There have been about 350 new cases of whooping cough (pertussis) so far this year in Los Angeles County. Long Beach has been hit particularly hard, with more than 90 new cases of the bacterial disease and an infection rate of nearly 20 cases per 100,000 people, NBC News reported.

Whooping cough -- which is highly infectious and can be spread by coughing -- is cyclical and peaks every three to five years, according to the California Department of Public Health. The last major peak in cases was in 2010.

Two-thirds of the people hospitalized with whooping cough have been children four months or younger, and two infant deaths have been reported, according to the health department said.

"Preventing severe disease and death in infants is our highest priority," Dr. Ron Chapman, director of the health department, in a news release, NBC News reported. "We urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated. We also urge parents to vaccinate infants as soon as possible."

Today on WebMD

Baby getting vaccinated
Is there a link? Get the facts.
syringes and graph illustration
Get a customized vaccine schedule.
 
baby getting a vaccine
Know the benefits and the risk
nurse holding syringe in front of girl
Should your child have it?
 

What To Know About The HPV Vaccine
Article
24 Kid Illnesses Parents Should Know
Slideshow
 
Nausea and Vomiting Remedies Slideshow
Article
Managing Immunization Schedules For Kids
Video
 

Doctor administering vaccine to toddler
Video
gloved hand holding syringe
Article
 
infant receiving injection
Tool
pills
Quiz
 

WebMD Special Sections