6-week-old infant dies from whooping cough - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

6-week-old infant dies from whooping cough

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A 6-week-old infant died at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego from whooping cough, also called pertussis, county health officials announced Tuesday.

The baby, who was born prematurely, died last week, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

"Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the family of this child," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Infants are particularly susceptible to complications from pertussis because they are too young to get immunized."

It was the second local death of an infant from whooping cough this year.

A 5-week-old baby died at Rady Children's Hospital in July from whooping cough.

The state has declared whooping cough an epidemic this year.

There have been 721 confirmed cases of whooping cough reported in San Diego County so far this year. That surpasses the previous high of 371 cases in 2005. There were 143 cases of the disease locally last year.

The HHSA reported 13 new cases of whooping cough in area children this week. The new cases were in children 3-16 years old.

Pertussis typically starts with a cough and runny nose, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that include a whooping sound. The illness, which might include a mild fever, is treatable with antibiotics.

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