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October 7, 2010 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Next fall, seventh-through12th-grade students in California will be required under a new state law to get a whooping cough booster shot before starting school, health officials said this week. Before Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 354 last week, California had been one of only 11 states that did not require middle school students to get a booster shot against whooping cough, or pertussis. The legislation had been stalled for several years amid concerns that California would have to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for vaccinations for children on Medi-Cal, the government insurance program for the poor.
October 6, 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.
September 23, 2010
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial disease that infects the respiratory system. It is most dangerous to infants, particularly those who are too young to be vaccinated. Symptoms: Children and adults suffer from severe coughing, followed by the "whoop" sound made when the person inhales at the end of a coughing spasm. Young infants suffer a runny nose and slight cough but may not make the telltale "whoop" sound. Adults can also experience sweating episodes, severe coughing that worsens at night and a sense of choking.
September 23, 2010 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Who is to blame for the spread in California of whooping cough, which has killed nine infants this year? Unimmunized adults and teenagers are one major factor, health officials say. "We don't think it is the coverage level in babies and toddlers that is the problem," but the lack of vaccination in adults and teens, Dr. Anne Schuchat, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the U.S. Centers for Disease...
September 17, 2010 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Babies have been hardest hit by whooping cough in California, according to new statistics released by the state Department of Public Health. FOR THE RECORD: Whooping cough: A headline on a Sept. 17 LATExtra article incorrectly tied flu shots to protection against whooping cough, also known as pertussis. Health officials are urging pertussis vaccinations for anyone who will be in contact with babies. In addition, officials have begun their annual push to urge people to seek seasonal flu shots.
August 31, 2010
The Food and Drug Administration will consider placing restrictions of the sale of over-the-counter cold remedies containing dextromethorphan, such as Robitussin and Coricidin, according to an agency memo. An advisory committee will meet on Sept. 14 to review data on the misuse of cough-and-cold remedies among children and adolescents -- an activity known as robo-tripping. The agency issued its first public warning that the drugs may be misused by teens to get high in 2005.
July 20, 2010 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times
California public health officials on Monday strongly urged elderly adults, children and pregnant women to get vaccinated against whooping cough, citing an epidemic in the state that is on track to be the worst in 50 years. Nearly 1,500 cases of whooping cough have been reported statewide this year, nearly five times the number of cases last year, according to Dr. Gil Chavez, the state's epidemiologist. Babies under 6 months old are the most vulnerable because even those vaccinated have yet to develop immunity, Chavez said.
June 28, 2010 | Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Public health officials say California's lackluster immunization rates could be a factor in the epidemic spread of whooping cough, a bacterial disease expected to take its largest toll in the state in five decades. California is one of only 11 states that does not require middle school students to receive a booster shot against whooping cough, also known as pertussis, which infects the respiratory system. The state is the only one in the nation to report such a dramatic surge in pertussis, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
June 8, 2010 | By Rong-Gong Lin II, Los Angeles Times
Reported cases of whooping cough have tripled since last year, according to state health officials, with the Central Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Los Angeles region seeing sizable increases in patients. In California, there have been 584 cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, confirmed between Jan. 1 and May 31. That is three times as many cases as during the same time period last year, when 190 cases were confirmed, according to Ken August, a spokesman for the state's Department of Public Health.
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