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Critical outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in California

PHOTO: Young boy coughing from Pertussis also known as whooping coughThere is a critical outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in California: it is classified now as an epidemic. Five infants, all Latino, have died. This is due to unrecognized pertussis in older children and adults which then infects babies before they’ve had a chance to get their shots.

PLEASE spread the word through every mechanism you have that it is critical to get Tdap in adolescents and adults and to get children immunized properly. Providers are not recognizing pertussis and MUST keep this in mind with cough illnesses. Families must not fear immigration to get in for shots, and the public must understand that pertussis is not brought here by immigrants---it is local people passing it around to vulnerable populations.

Please share any media resources you have with us so we can all work together! This is a NATIONAL problem as increases are also being seen in several other states. We have been talking with people at CDC and have the following links for your interest. We are working on low literacy methods to assist the public. We will send an update as soon as these materials are available. Please check MCN’s website for up-to-date information

CDC Web Feature
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CA Press Release
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CA Pertussis Materials (English and Spanish)