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California whooping cough outbreak update 10-26-10

October 28, 2010 1 comment

The California Department of Public Health has released the latest numbers, as of 10/26/10. Unfortunately, a new death has been recorded since I last reported on this outbreak.

  • 6,257 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of pertussis reported in 2010, for a staterate of 16 cases/100,000.
    • Case Classification:
      -Confirmed: ~67%  (4,192)
      -Probable: ~16%     (1,001)
      -Suspect: ~17%       (1,064)
  • This is the most cases reported in 60 years when 6,613 cases were reported in 1950, and the highest incidence in 51 years when a rate of 16.1 cases/100,000 was reported in 1959.
  • 154 (58%) of hospitalized cases were infants ❤ months of age, and 201 (75%) were infants <6 months of age.
  • 153 (76%) of the hospitalized infants <6 months of age with known race and ethnicity were Hispanic.
  • 10 deaths have been reported; 9 (90%) were Hispanic infants. Nine fatalities were infants <2 months of age at time of disease onset and had not received any doses of pertussis-containing vaccine;the 10th victim was an ex-28 week preemie that was 2 months of age and had received the first dose of DTaP only 15 days prior to disease
    onset.
  • Rates are highest in infants <6 months of age (317.2 cases/100,000), in children aged 7-9 years (46.8 cases/100,000) and children aged 6 months-6 years (38.4 cases/100,000)
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Whooping cough claims 10th baby in California

October 20, 2010 Leave a comment

The bad news keep on coming; the 10th baby, yet another 6-week-old,  has succumbed to the whooping cough outbreak in California. All the babies who have died this year were too young to be fully immunized, so health officials are urging parents and caretakers to get booster shots to create a cocoon of immunity around vulnerable children. Our hearts and thoughts go to the families of these 10 innocent infants during these tragic times in their lives. We are very sorry for your loss.

Indiana on track to highest whooping cough rates in 24 years

October 18, 2010 1 comment

Indiana state officials are reporting  that Indiana is on track to see it’s highest whooping cough rates in 24 years. As of mid-September, the number of whooping cough cases reported to the Indiana State Department of Health for 2010 had surpassed 390, close to the total number for 2009, which had a total of 400 cases reported.

“Infants are the most vulnerable and they can die from the  disease,” said Dr. John Christenson, director of Pediatric Infectious Disease at Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis. “But teenagers and adults serve as the vectors for the disease, transmitting it to infants who have no immunity.”

A new state law this year requires all students in grades six through twelve to get a booster shot. For details in Indiana’s school immunization requirements, you can refer to the Q&A posted at the Indiana State Department of Health website.

California whooping cough outbreak update

October 7, 2010 2 comments

Here are the latest numbers, reported by the California Department of Public Health, as of 10/05/10. Thankfully, no new deaths have been reported since  I last reported the statistics, one month ago.

  • 5,272 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of pertussis reported in 2010, for a state rate of 13.5 cases/100,000.
    • Case Classification:
      -Confirmed: ~66%  (3,480)
      -Probable: ~17%     (896)
      -Suspect: ~17%       (896)
  • This is the most cases reported in 60 years when 6,613 cases were reported in 1950, and the highest incidence in 51 years when a rate of 16.1 cases/100,000 was reported in 1959.
  • 132 (59%) of hospitalized cases were infants ❤ months of age, and 167 (74%) were infants <6 months of age.
  • 129 (77%) of the hospitalized infants <6 months of age with known race and ethnicity were Hispanic.
  • 9 deaths have been reported; 8 (89%) were Hispanic infants. Eight fatalities were infants <2 months of age at time of disease onset and had not received any doses of pertussis-containing vaccine and the remainder was an ex-28 week preemie that was 2 months of age and had received the first dose of DTaP only 15 days prior to disease
    onset.
  • Rates are highest in infants <6 months of age (261.3 cases/100,000), in children aged 7-9 years (40.2 cases/100,000) and adolescents aged 10-18 years (30.1 cases/100,000)

5 week old baby dead of whooping cough

September 16, 2010 2 comments

A 5-week-old baby has succumbed to whooping cough, this time in Adelaide, Australia. The baby was admitted in the hospital on Saturday, September 11, 2010 and died on Tuesday, September 14, 2010. The baby was too young to be vaccinated. South Adelaide has seen a 30+% increase in incidence of whooping cough this year, with a total of 3991 cases  reported to date in 2010, compared with 2961 at the same time last year, which had a total of 5250 for the full year.

“Whooping cough can be a very serious illness and babies and young children are the most vulnerable to complications following infection, as tragically demonstrated in this case,” Prof Phillips said.

“Babies under six months of age are not able to complete the required series of vaccinations so they remain especially vulnerable to whooping cough.”

9th infant dead of whooping cough in California

September 15, 2010 1 comment

The 9th casualty of the whooping cough outbreak in California has been, yet another infant under 2 months of age. Not much is known at this time, except that the infant lived in San Bernardino County and was less than 2 months old. That makes it extremely likely that the child had not yet received the first dose of the pertussis vaccine, making this case yet another unfortunate case of a vaccine preventable death.  With this death, this year has become deadlier than 2005, the last big outbreak in California, as far as whooping cough deaths are concerned.

“This sad case reminds us that the best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, San Bernardino County’s health officer, in statement released late last week. “Immunity from pertussis vaccine or disease wears off, so most adults are susceptible to pertussis and should get immunized to protect themselves and their families.”

California whooping cough update 9-7-10

September 8, 2010 4 comments

As reported previously, the California whooping cough outbreak of 2010 has claimed the lives of 7 infants. Here is updated data as of 09-07-10 provided by the California Department of Public Health pertussis page. Unfortunately, the news is worse, the 8th victim has been recorded, yet another infant. Here is a synopsis of the CDPC data, as of 9/7/2010:

  • 3,834 confirmed, probable & suspected cases – a 7 fold increase from the previous year
  • This is the most absolute number of cases reported since 1958 and the highest incidence per 100,000 since 1962
  • 12% of cases were hospitalized, 59% of those hospitalized were children ❤ months; 74% were children <6 months; 801% of the under 6 months hospitalized were Hispanic
  • 8 deaths have been reported all infants less than 3 months. 7 were under 2 months, thus had not received any doses of the pertussis vaccine. 1 had received the first dose (of 5) 11 days prior
  • Rates in infants < 6 months old are 6 times higher than the next biggest affected category 7-9 year olds, and 8 times the rates of adolescents, the third most affected category
  • Highest rates are seen in Hispanic infants < 6 months of age