Whooping cough outbreak hits several US states

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: (Published 24 August 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c4627
  1. Bob Roehr
  1. 1Washington, DC

    Health authorities in California are urging all citizens to immunise themselves against whooping cough amid what is set to become the largest outbreak of the disease in 50 years.

    The state has seen a total of 2774 confirmed cases so far this year—seven times the number of cases last year—and eight babies have died. Seven of the babies were less than 2 months old and had not yet been vaccinated. The eighth baby had been born at 28 weeks and had received its first dose of the vaccine. A higher than normal incidence of whooping cough has also been reported in Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

    The incidence of whooping cough …

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