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pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) is a highly contagious bacterial disease that can be spread by coughing. People with pertussis have severe coughing attacks that can last for months. Infants too young for vaccination are at greatest risk for life-threatening cases of pertussis. To protect newborns, pregnant women are recommended to receive Tdap vaccine (whooping cough booster) in their third trimester of every pregnancy (between 27–36 weeks, at the earliest opportunity). Infants can start the DTaP vaccine series as early as 6 weeks of age. Even one dose of DTaP may offer some protection against fatal whooping cough disease in infants.


Over 9,000 cases of pertussis were reported in California during 2010, the most in over 60 years, including 10 infant deaths. In 2014, 11,209 cases were reported which included two infant deaths and hundreds of hospitalizations. This is consistent with a peak in incidence every 3–5 years. Pertussis is widespread throughout the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Child care facilities and schools with low vaccination rates are at increased risk for outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Lookup vaccination rates:
Child Care/Preschool | Kindergarten | 7th Grade

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