The Department of Public Health of California has strongly recommended the public to vaccinate children against the Pertussis disease as the cases of whooping cough have reached epidemic proportions here.
According to the health Nearly 3,460 cases of whooping cough—have been reported to the California Department of Public Health this year. More cases have been reported so far this year than in all of 2013.
Over 800 cases of Pertussis have been reported within past two weeks in California. Two infant deaths have also been reported.
“Preventing severe disease and death in infants is our highest priority. We urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated. We also urge parents to vaccinate infants as soon as possible,” said CDPH director Dr. Ron Chapman, in a statement.
Children develop cough and runny nose for one to two weeks. The condition worsens with the passing days and children may have rapid coughing spells that end with a “whooping” sound.
The health experts recommend vaccination for older children, pre-adolescents and adults. The doctors strongly recommend vaccination for persons who stays around newborns.
About the disease
Pertussis or whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial disease that spreads by coughing.
According to the health experts, those suffering from pertussis have severe coughing attacks that can last for months.
The group that is at the greatest risk for life-threatening cases of pertussis is the infants who are too young for vaccination.
- Young children need five doses of DTaP (PDF) by kindergarten (ages 4-6).
- Pregnant women are recommended to receive a Tdap booster during their third trimester of each pregnancy, even if they got it before pregnancy.
- Doctors also recommend Tdap booster for adults, especially if they are in contact with infants or are health care workers.