(Article from the Fresno Bee, September 16th, 2010)
Every year or season a slightly different flu strain awakens, infecting our human population. This fall it’s the whooping cough, also called pertussis. It is causing many deaths, especially in infants. Many health officials have grown concerned with this unexpected new threat, mainly because the babies are too young to be fully immunized by the illness. It’s essential to understand how this virus is effecting our population and what procedures must be taken in order to prevent it from continuing to spread.
The article Whooping Cough Mark Near, from the Fresno Bee, describes the conditions of this new occurring virus. According to the article, the number of highly contagious whooping cough cases reported in California is 4,017. In Fresno County, there have been 508 cases reported while last year during this same period only 22 cases were reported. In the article Whooping Cough (Pertussis), it states that nationwide there are 250,000 cases per year and up to 9,000 deaths. This illness cycles about every five years, peaking in numerous infections. It is difficult to diagnose because symptoms are common to a cold, a persistent cough for weeks is the main indication of the whooping cough. In 1955, there was a record of 4,949 patients with the sickness in the state, but this year they plan on the number of infections exceeding to an even greater quantity. The main aspect, which distinguishes this illness from others, is based on the fact that it’s a continuous cough and the deaths are mostly occurring in infants. This is due to their inability to be fully immunized, which is why caretakers or parents are being advised to get booster shots.
Statewide 1.8 million vaccines for the whooping cough will be given and continue to arrive in California. With this new sporadic flu activity occurring, health officials are encouraging anyone over 6 months of age to get the flu vaccine...