Pertussis (whooping cough) cases continue to grow. The California
Department of Public Health has reported 1,496 cases; Orange County has reported 122 pertussis cases to date. Forty percent of Orange County cases are in infants. Many cases are assumed to be unreported.
under 6 months of age. With an additional death reported this week, there have now been six deaths in California, all infants under six months of age.
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease and young infants are very vulnerable.
Whooping cough is bacterial. It starts with symptoms like a cold. Serious complications develop about a week after exposure to the bacteria. Severe episodes of coughing start about 10 to 12 days later. The cough sound sometimes occurs in children .It is produced when the patient tries to take a breath. Coughing spells may lead to vomiting or a short loss of consciousness due to lack of oxygen. Pertussis should always be considered when vomiting occurs with coughing. In infants, choking spells are common. Other symptoms are runny nose, low fever (102 °F or lower) and diarrhea
Vaccination prevents the disease. Pertussis is bacterial. Frequently wash your hands. Often in summer, we forget when we are outdoors or at the beach to wash with hot water and soap twenty seconds. Be extra cautious if you feel you have a cold and are handling children.