Whooping cough reaches epidemic proportions in California

New cases in the state are poised to break a 50-year-old record

Published June 25, 2010 12:25AM (EDT)

Some diseases aren't high on the list of things to watch out for: polio, rubella, mumps, whooping cough...but wait! Whooping cough amongst Californians has quadrupled in the last year, killing 5 infants across the state despite the proliferation of vaccines in clinics and hospitals. Symptoms can be mild at first -- just a runny nose and a cough (obviously) for a couple of weeks followed by weeks or months of coughing fits that have that little "whoop" sound at the end.

Good news: preventable. Bad news: incredibly dangerous for small children, particularly ones who haven't been properly immunized. An SFGate columnist details five weird facts you should know about the sickness. TheIndyChannel.com has a piece on the potential spread of the cough halfway across the country in Indiana. ABC News is detailing the rise in cases across the nation. Go to WebMD for details on symptoms and treatment.

By Christine Mathias

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