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Getting a grip on whooping cough

October 06, 2010

Whooping cough and bedbugs seem to be making a comeback in the U.S.

But whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is highly contagious and can be deadly. Last year, the disease accounted for 17,000 cases and 14 deaths nationwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

California is experiencing the biggest outbreak of whooping cough in 50 years. The Los Angeles Times reports on a new state law requiring students to get immunized in "Whooping cough booster to be required for middle, high school students."

What school immunizations are required where you live? Check the searchable database from the National Network for Immunization Information.

Signs of whooping cough include common cold-like symptoms, severe coughing fits, diarrhea, low fever (102 degrees or below) and runny nose. Read more information about the disease and who should get immunized at "Whooping cough risks, symptoms and disease" and "Pertussis (Whooping Cough) -- What You Need to Know."

-- Mary Forgione / Los Angeles Times

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