Whooping cough sweeps through California

Whooping cough, a bacterial infection also known as pertussis, is sweeping through California, with 3,400 cases reported. The condition is preventable by vaccines for infants and children, and by boosters for pre-teens, teens and adults whose immunity may have faded.

For infants and children, the immunization comes in the form of a combination vaccine that also protects against diphtheria and tetanus. Since 2005, the booster vaccine also has protected recipients from all three. Pregnant women can protect themselves and convey some immunity to their children by getting vaccinations during their third trimester, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Related:

How the anti-vaccine movement is endangering lives

U.S. measles outbreak sets record for post-elimination era

New global initiative hopes to prevent infectious disease threats

Outbreaks of disease may not boost vaccination rates. Here's why.

Lenny Bernstein writes the To Your Health blog. He started as an editor on the Post’s National Desk in 2000 and has worked in Metro and Sports.
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Lenny Bernstein | June 16