According to reports, a newborn baby in San Diego, California died from the easily preventable yet deadly disease pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough.
San Diego County health officials said on Monday that the 5-week-old infant, who was otherwise healthy, died this July 15. NBC San Diego said that this is the first infant death from whooping cough in San Diego since 2010 and the second this year in California.
California recorded more than 9,000 cases of whooping cough, including 10 infant deaths, in 2010. The last epidemic in the state occurred in 2014, according to the Washington Times.
“Young infants are at greatest risk of hospitalization and death from pertussis,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county’s public health officer. “Although the number of cases in our region has declined, this tragic death reminds us how important it is that everyone takes steps to prevent pertussis, including getting vaccinated.”
San Diego health officials remind pregnant women and those who come into close contact with infants to get vaccinated to protect against whooping cough due to the extreme susceptibility infants have to the disease.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all young children receive five doses of DTaP (pertussis vaccinations) by kindergarten and all students entering seventh grade need proof of a whooping cough booster immunization.
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