Digital News Report – The Interim Director, Dr. Howard Backer, from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) released a statement this month warning that whopping cough cases in 2011 remained higher than the 2009 baseline numbers and the rates of infection from the same time one year ago. The CDPH official is reminding parents of adolescents to get their whooping cough (pertussis) immunization shots, which is a new California law that becomes effective on July 1, 2011.
Backer explained that ten infants died from the pertussis illnesses in 2010. He did add that it is still too early to determine if 2011 will have higher rates of infection than in 2010. However, Backer said that in 2011, California is having more cases than normal at this time. Currently, no deaths have been reported for 2011.
The new California state law requires seventh through twelfth grade students to be immunized with a pertussis booster shot in order to attend public school this fall when school resumes.
Pertussis vaccinations start at six weeks of age for infants, but the young babies remain unprotected until they receive a series of three shots over time. This leaves infants at a risk of catching the whooping cough. The CDPH recommends that anyone that is around the small child make sure his or her vaccinations are updated.
By: Jason Chang