Update Immunizations to Avoid Whooping Cough Epidemic

The California Department of  Public Health has declared an epidemic of whooping cough in California with 3,076 cases reported this year, a seven-fold increase over the total number of cases reported in 2009.
Locally  in Alameda County, 121 cases have been reported this year as of the end of July, compared with nine cases for 2009, according  the county Health and Human Services Agency.
“Immunization is the key to controlling this illness. All Californians, in particular families with infants and young children, are urged to obtain vaccinations to prevent whooping cough,” said Assemblymember Sandré R. Swanson in a letter to constituents.
Whooping cough, also called Pertussis, causes coughing fits that make it hard to breathe. It spreads easily when someone with the disease coughs or sneezes and it can be fatal in young babies.
The disease often starts with mild symptoms associated with the common cold like a runny nose, sneezing, a mild cough and low or no fever. After one to two weeks, however, symptoms can worsen quickly and can last for months. These symptoms include bad coughing attacks that may lead to vomiting, problems breathing, a red or blue face, extreme tiredness, a “whoop” sound and sweating spells.
For information or immunizations contact your health care provider. To find an immunization center near you call (866) 358-2966 toll free or visit www.getimmunizedca.org.