State Urging Immunization to Combat Whooping Cough
Whooping cough continues to concern public health officials, who are advising pregnant women to get the pertussis vaccine during their last trimester to help protect newborns until they are old enough to receive it. In babies, whooping cough, also known as pertussis, usually causes difficulty breathing, rather than the distinctive cough. It can result in a complete inability to breathe. In 2014, Santa Barbara County experienced its first infant death from pertussis, and the growing spread of the disease caused 126 infant hospitalizations in California this year. The pertussis vaccine, known as Tdap, protects against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis, and its protection decreases over time.