Published On: Mon, Jul 21st, 2014

California pertussis epidemic rises by another 800

The pertussis, or whooping cough epidemic has risen by another 800+ cases during the past couple weeks, according to data released by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

As of July 8, 5,393 cases with onset in 2014 have been reported to CDPH for a state rate of 14.1 cases per 100,000 population. This is up from from 4,558 (as of June 24). In 2013, California reported 2,532 cases over the course of the year. Los Angeles and San Diego counties are one and two in total cases reported.

156 cases required hospitalization for their illness, with 29 patients (19%) needing intensive care. Six out of 10 of the hospitalization were in infants <4 months of age. Three fatalities have been reported.

Pertussis is cyclical and peaks every 3-5 years as the numbers of susceptible persons in the population increases due to waning of immunity following both vaccination and disease. The last epidemic in California occurred in 2010, however, the overall incidence of pertussis has increased since the 1990s.

One reason for the increase is the use of acellular pertussis vaccines, which cause fewer reactions than the whole-cell vaccines that preceded them, but do not protect as long. Looking for a job in health care? Check here to see what’s available

Young infants are at greatest risk of hospitalization and death from pertussis, therefore pregnant women are encouraged to receive pertussis vaccine (Tdap) during the 3rd trimester of every pregnancy. Pertussis antibodies are transferred from vaccinated mothers to their infants and will help protect them until they are old enough to be vaccinated. For more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page

California pertussis 2014


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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63


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