The California Department Of Public Health made it official by declaring a statewide Pertussis epidemic on Friday. There were over 3,400 cases diagnosed since the start of the year and in the last 2 weeks we saw 800 official diagnosis. This led to the official epidemic declaration.
Pertussis is better known under the name Whooping Cough. It causes uncontrollable, violent coughing combined with gasping. Those affected have trouble breathing.
The cause of Whooping Cough was linked to Bordetella Pertussis bacterium. Young children and infants are at increased risks. Spread is similar to that of the flu or cold. One individual can infect 15 people that are close-by and Pertussis already caused infant deaths.
According to the department of public health, all people that are in contact with younger children and pregnant women should get Tdap (Tetanus, diphteria, pertussis) boosters since adults can also become infected. The parents that have infants should get babies vaccinated.
2 infant deaths were reported while most of the infections affected children under 16 and infants.
In the year 2010, California had another pertussis epidemic that led to 10 infant deaths and 9,153 diagnosed cases. Health officials fear that this epidemic will be worse.