Whooping cough declared an epidemic in California - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Whooping cough declared an epidemic in California

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(CBS 8) - Whooping cough is now an epidemic in California.

State health officials say California is on pace to break a 50-year record for infections and deaths this year.

As of June 15th there were 910 recorded cases statewide of whooping cough, also called pertussis. The number is up from 219 cases last year.

Five infants have died from whooping cough in California this year.

In San Diego, there have been 98 reported cases this year compared to 143 cases last year. There have been no deaths.

Health officials say children should be vaccinated and adults need a booster shot.

Dean Sidelinger, County Deputy of Public Health says, "Pertussis is easily spread from person to person through the air so when someone coughs or sneezes they can spread pertussis to those around them. If we've been fully vaccinated for pertussis we do have good protection."

A typical case starts with flu-like symptoms followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits.

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