June 24th, 2010
11:21 AM ET

Whooping cough is epidemic in California

By Elizabeth Landau
CNN.com Health Writer/Producer

The highly contagious disease whooping cough has reached an epidemic level in California, state officials say, according to CNN affiliate KTLA.

There have been 910 recorded cases of whooping cough in the state as of June 15. Five babies have died from the disease this year.

Most children receive five doses of a vaccine against whooping cough before kindergarten, but that immunization doesn't last a lifetime.

California has seen three times its usual number of whooping cough cases this year, a state health department spokesman told CNN recently.

Read the full story from KTLA

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soundoff (208 Responses)
  1. Audrey

    Elsie, vaccines don't cause autism, but neither do working parents. I'm a stay-at-home mom of an autistic teenager (and I'm a big proponent of having a parent stay home to raise the children if at all humanly possible). Autism is a real neurological issue...not a fantasy or "bad parenting" or anything else like that.

    I do think the rise in pertussis is likely due to a combination of factors. Yes, there are probably more people here in California than in other parts of the U.S. who buy into pseudoscience and fail to have their children vaccinated. It's a serious problem. And yes, we have a very large population of illegal immigrants from countries where lack of medical care is rampant. I'd say that both are probably contributing factors. But one that really bothers me is, I don't think that many adults are TOLD that they need to get revaccinated. I'm 49 years old...I have good insurance and see my doctor regularly...and I have NEVER had a doctor tell me that I needed to get revaccinated for pertussis. I would have done it without hesitation. I wonder how many other adults out there simply don't know that this is something they need to talk to their doctors about?

    June 24, 2010 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Former Californian

    Thanks a lot to all of the illegal Mexicans bringing these diseases across the border!!! I was born in, and grew up in California, but thankfully, got out a few years ago when it had finally become apparent that Mexico had taken a huge shit on the United States of America and used California for toilet paper...

    Hopefully all other states get on board with what Arizona is doing to combat this problem.

    Oh and PS, before you are quick to call me a racist over this post, please know that I spent 4 years living in Mexico in my college years- I enjoyed the people and culture very much, however, the people illegally coming to our country are people who were failures in their own country first and want to come abuse the system here.

    I learned the language before I went to Mexico, never once did I feel entitled to have English spoken to me where it was not the native language. Never once did I try to get free government services, including money, housing, food, daycare, etc. I also never went to a Mexican Hospital and had a baby with no insurance or thought of how I was costing taxpayers a fortune when I wasn't entitled to even BE THERE. In addition, I never sat inside of a Mexican classroom disturbing the education of others because I didn't understand the language of a country I chose to infiltrate!!!

    Just some "comida" for thought-

    June 24, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Californian

      Good riddance.

      July 7, 2010 at 16:36 | Report abuse |
  3. Audrey

    Kath, it's not child neglect when you make a decision not to have children vaccinated for legitimate health reasons. Some people DO have adverse reactions to the shots, and having had two children become seriously ill, you made an informed decision, with the help of your doctor, not to have your other ones vaccinated. That's not the problem...in fact, it's kids like yours, who can't have the vaccine, that we want to protect. The problem is people who don't have their kids vaccinated because they've bought into the latest pop-science article, or because they've got themselves convinced that these diseases "weren't so bad" or "have gone away" that are the problem. That kind of attitude poses a serious health risk to kids like yours who CAN'T be vaccinated.

    June 24, 2010 at 17:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ken

    Sounds like we have some dumb people in California. First off, this country that you think is so great, does not give two sh*ts about you or your children. If they did, fence would be up, borders would be closed, and that would be that. Second, this country that you think belongs to you, does not belong to anyone except for the natives. We live on stolen land, blood land. The reason we have disease is not because of lack of vaccines, vaccines are pure bullshit. They are marketed quite well, sounds like most of you are buying into it. The reason we have disease is because of all your fat fu*king children are not taking care of themselves. Try being a 'good' parent and stop taking your kids to fast food joints and stop buying processed foods and snacks. Cut out sugar, change the diet. Once you change the diet, things will get better, and maybe every single one of you blame-game drama queens can realize that you waste too much time getting angry at the parents who don't vaccinate their kids or illegal immigrants.

    I think all of you are mad because your wittle feewings are hurt. Just remember: A) America hates you and B)YOU ARE ALL EASILY MISLED.

    Vaccinations are a genocide. Enjoy being brainwashed

    June 24, 2010 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andra

      You are an idiot. Vaccines save money and lives. It is the cheapest most effective health care at our fingertips.

      June 26, 2010 at 14:07 | Report abuse |
  5. sandra

    @ jerry and the other bigots on this page – this has nothing to do with undocumented immigrants, jeez how ignorant can you be?! i bet you think science is magic & don't understand that either. more likely this epidemic has to do with parents who DO NOT VACCINATE THEIR KIDS OR THEMSELVES. i'd blame your stupidity on the immigrant family you came from but that would be me becoming just as lame as you. get a clue and leave your ignorant race baiting agenda at the door (or behind the protection of your computer screen and keyboard).

    June 24, 2010 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. pm

    Wow, the venom directed at people who 'don't vaccinate' is pretty severe. While I fully believe that vaccinations are for the greater good, and I do vaccinate my children, I also agree that there are risks associated with vaccinations that can't/shouldn't be ignored (no, not autism). My children both had severe reactions to the MMR, and I would have liked the option to split out this required vaccination. I also opted to delay or split a few shots, making this decision in conjunction with my pediatrician. The risk of an infant catching hepB (mainly spread through iv drug use or unprotected sex) is pretty low, so I felt comfortable delaying it by a few months. dTAP, no delays as pertussis can kill infants.

    So I agree with Kath, don't be so quick to judge or lump everyone into a vaccinate/non-vaccinate caregory. We're all just trying to make the best decisions for our kids.

    June 24, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Andy

    I think immunizations in the US need to play a much larger role, having free public vaccine clinics at grocery stores, malls, in or around movie theaters, and in schools, including colleges would decrease the chance of people falling ill requiring monitory and other resources to care for them. There are currently vaccines for Hepatitis A and B, Chicken Pox, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Whooping cough, Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Influenza (specific strains), and several other vaccines exist for people who have all ready been exposed, such as Rabies.

    I just got a Td (tetanus & diphtheria) immunization shot earlier due to an injury i received while biking, it's a poke in the arm. I have also gotten the rabies vaccination, which is actual a series of 10-12 shots depending on body weight over time, it's reallly not that big of a deal, i got a poke in each arm and 3 in each leg the first visit for that one, and then 3 more pokes alternating arms. I think there's so much fear and taboo about doctors and health in the US that it's pathetic and scary, people need to get protected, usually they are covered by insurance too, and many health departments offer free clinics, sometimes several a year, take advantage of these!

    As for the implication that somehow people coming into the US from across the border being an issue here, you people need to wake up and realize that this disease is highly contagious, and it can go undetected in those immunized, and be passed on to people who are not immunized and they get sick..... "illegals" When you follow all laws all the time every day for your entire life, you can call illegal immigrants "illegals", till then, thou with no sin cast the first stone...

    – A

    June 24, 2010 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Bordergal

    There have been instances where children had reactions to the whooping cough vaccine that caused brain damage with the result being severe retardation. I know of two families in our area that had that experience. That is a huge reason some parents fear the vaccine, but they must weigh that chance against the chance of their child contacting what could be a fatal disease. Pediatricians still recommend that children receive the vaccine because the chance of catching whooping cough is greater than the chace of having a reaction.

    June 24, 2010 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Doug

    Nothing to do with illegal immigrants, or aliens from Mars, or socialists or whatever. This comes from the dopey but well-meaning parents who've decided not to get their kids vaccinated against whooping cough. Their decision endangers not only their own children but, but creating a chain down which contagion can spread, the entire community. California, which a large population of vaccination-deniers, is simply experiencing the results of this luddite mentality before other states do.

    June 24, 2010 at 18:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Lynda

    I am a 62 year old woman in San Francisco.

    I just got over whooping cough which I had for 6 weeks. My doctor
    did not suspect whooping cough until I told him I thought that is
    what I had. After listening to the sound adults make with this cough on the SF Dept of Public Health website, I recognized it. Also, many people don't make the whistling sound. I was finally given Zithromax and that seemed to aid my recovery which was slow. You have to take Erithromycin or Zithromax nothing else will work on this specific bacteria.

    I was vacinated years ago for whooping cough, but the SF Dept.
    of Public Health now recommends "grandmothers" get vacinated
    for this all over again.

    If you are coughing for over two weeks, you should suspect
    whooping cough. This is a very dangerous illness. Older
    people can die of this.

    June 24, 2010 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. pj

    Maybe people shouldn't be so quick about sticking out their arms for the medical team. Does anybody Ever check to find out to see what chemicals they put in you? Probably not. Cause the goverment/CDC says it's good for you! *rolls eyes* I'm not talking conspiracies. I just want to be an informed parent making a decision that my child cannot. Nice scare article cnn. 🙁

    June 24, 2010 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Csh

    I hate to tell all you immigration-bashers – but whooping cough didn't just come into the country – it never left. My sister had it 40 years ago. my mother recognized the 'whoop' . She thought the vaccination prevented it. Nope. The doctor told her it only makes the disease milder. So this stuff has always been around – just very few children died from it thanks to vaccinations. My mom made sure we got every vaccination available – she grew up in a time when children dying for diseases like whooping cough, polio, and such was common.

    June 24, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Anna

    Blaming immigrants on a whooping cough outbreak.....that's a bit of a stretch don't you think. I mean come on. The pertussis vaccination is the most likely to cause a severe reaction so some parents choose not to give their kids that vaccination. Some AMERICAN parents don't vaccinate their kids at all because of a theory (not one based on science by the way) that they cause autism. The vaccine doesn't last through adulthood if you don't get boosters so you are just as likely to spread the disease as those dirty immigrants you were just referring to. Some people with their racist reteric remind me of nazis in WWII. They blamed jews for spreading diseases among other things and look what happhened to those poor people. You are no better than Hitler when you talk like that my friend.

    June 24, 2010 at 19:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. kabrinks

    For all of you who say that it is the parents' fault, I wish you would realize that some children have very severe allergic reactions to the immunization itself. I was told by my pediatrician at the time, that continuing the DPT shots with my first daughter could actually be life- threatening. We therefore concurred that it would be best for her to have that part of the DPTseries of vaccinations removed from the remainder of her shots. She is not protected from this disease, and yet the disease itself is life-threatening....we felt we truly had no other choice at the time.

    June 24, 2010 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. crystal

    To Bill and others raving about parents that have avoided the vaccines .................. if YOUR child has been vaccinated, and they are SO effective then what @@@@ are you worried about !!!!

    June 24, 2010 at 20:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. silvershado

    Illegals aren't immunized and, on occasion, carry an untreatable type of TB.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Omeghan

    No one has been negligent in this.

    Up here in Ontario, Canada we had a "pertussis Alert " last spring.

    This just meant that 'Boomer's immunizations (sp) were expiring & so many had developed this croup like cough with pneumonia.
    (especially after a flu)

    Get a pertussis booster shot and you be all set.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. karen deere

    bill, I love you.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. truewellnessdr

    Everyone is commenting on how parents need to make sure their children are immunized.... But no one is wondering how many of these kids that got whooping cough were immunized. I can pretty much tell you with certainty right now that 80-90% of the kids that came down with it were properly immunized and up to date.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. phoenix3

    Around Thanksgiving 2007 I caught what I thought was a bad cold, by Christmas I was miserable and driving my co-workers crazy with my coughing fits. After New Years I finally went to the doctor and much to my surprise was diagnosed with whopping cough. I was shocked and my first response to the Dr was no one gets whopping cough anymore. But I was told the immunizations I got as a child don't last forever and with all the immigrants coming here that have not been immunized, this disease along with alot more are making a come back. After being giving a tetanus shot (it contains pertussis), a pneumonia shot and medication three months later I started to feel better and luckily only gave it to one other person as I made sure to cough into a tissue. My Dr indicated that just walking through the mall or grocery store and having an infected person cough with out covering their mouth could have given it to me. I was lucky if I hadn't gone to the doctor who knows what the outcome could have been. Parents, please get your children immunized for whopping cough, it is very painful your chest feels like it's going to explode from the coughing and can be deadly.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Jill

    Kath- I'm sorry for what your family went through, but a lot of parents choose not to get their children vaccinated our of fear rather than education. If these people got their children vaccinated your children would be more protected (herd immunity). Most comments are condemning , not your reason for not vaccinating.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Yuveth

    In my humble opinion I think that people pay too much attention to what the super stars say and do. I've read the articles on Jenny Mcarthy's child and I have to say.. it's sad that this child has autism.. but I don't believe it's from being immunized. Bad things happen to good people and when they do.. we want to know: Why, why, why! .. Now a whole slew of people have taken what she has said about these shots .. to heart and fear getting their kids immunized.

    People throughout the world have been receiving immunizations for a very long time.. and they have saved millions of lives.. wiping out Polio and small pox. The most loving thing you can do for your babies.. is get them immunized. And I don't believe outbreaks like this have anything at all to do with immigration folks.. if your kids were immunized and up to date this wouldn't be an issue.

    If anything .. I think the bugs / viruses are becoming stronger.

    When My kids had chicken pox.. it was before they began giving a shot for chicken pox.. compared to when I had the chicken pox.. theirs was much much worse. My daughter was even in the hospital for nearly a week with the chicken pox. So incredibly sick.

    June 24, 2010 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Esteban Rodroguez-Solis

    Stop blaming the illegal inmigrants for this epidemics. The reason why this event ocurred is the low vaccination coverages against whooping cough that the USA has.
    Ask for more information with your local health deparmtents and stop looking for scapegoats

    June 24, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. emm

    THANK YOU KATH!!!!!!!!!!!!! And if your kids have been vaxed then why are you worried about kids that aren't? YOUR KIDS HAVE BEEN VAXED and you therefore believe that your kids are immune. GAH!

    June 24, 2010 at 20:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. fireybuddha

    I had it about 3 years ago, and then again not long ago. I live in Ohio. It's not because of immigration – it's because it is highly contagious. I don't think whooping cough distinguishes between citizens, green cards and illegals, sorry.

    June 24, 2010 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. anonymous

    The thing is pertussis is around, it was never eradicated to begin with; it didn't suddenly just show up. What has been protecting all of us for all these years is the herd immunity, which is where the immune & vaccinated people outnumber those who are not immune, so if one person gets it, it doesn't spread very quickly or at all. This used to be what protected the tiny babies who aren't immune or able to get vaccinated.

    Now with all of the people declining vaccines for themselves & their children, the herd immunity is threatened. It's not the immigrants on the border states. We have had lethal outbreaks here in the NYC area. And yes, my children–my autistic son & his younger brother–have both been vaccinated. And now with the erosion of the herd immunity, they might still be at risk because while it may increase your odds against disease, a vaccine doesn't guarantee immunity.

    June 24, 2010 at 21:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Garbosmed

    California has a very high immunization rate. Maybe the virus has mutated and the old vaccine is no longer effective. This happened also in Georgia a while back, and has also happened this year with mumps outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations especially in New Jersey. The CDC really ought to investigate whether the vaccines even work against the strains that are causing problems. There's no point to adding boosters if the vaccine itself has become ineffective. Also, people's expectations are too high. No vaccine is ever 100% effective in the entire population.

    June 24, 2010 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. MARIE


    June 24, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Betsy

    @Nathan– an epidemic is when more cases are observed than expected, not when you think it is. It's an epidemiological term. Look it up.

    While I totally agree that pertussis is a vaccine all kids should have, 80% of newborn pertussis cases were caught from the parents or other adult caregiver. So we, as adults have the responsibility of getting vaccinated for pertussis before we give it to a child too young to be immunized. Make sure you get your shot next time you are at the doctor! Kath is right, there are reasonable times not to get vaccinated, which is why the rest of us have to be vigilant about doing it to protect those who can't.

    June 24, 2010 at 21:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Lisa

    I am sad and disappointed to see all this rage towards parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated. Both my kids received all of their doctor-recommended vaccinations, but just hours after receiving his 4th Pertussis vaccine at age 5, my son had his first seizure. Since then he's had additional seizures, landing in the ER multiple times, and was diagnosed with Epilepsy.

    While I believe vaccinations overall are important, parents need to be better informed about the benefits and risks of each one. Our government's CDC site specifically states to NOT give your child the pertussis vaccine if your family has a history of neurological issues, and their VAERS (vaccine reporting system) lists case after case of negative reactions to the pertussis vaccine (some of them seriously damaging or fatal). My heart breaks when I hear about babies dying from a disease that could be preventable, but I don't feel children should be put at risk either by being given a vaccine that is contraindicated based on their family medical history.

    I believe that in many cases vaccines can be a wonderful thing, but in some cases the risk outweighs the benefits. Instead of insulting immigrants or parents, perhaps our time would be better spent asking CNN to provide more info about what symptoms to look out for or provide details about available treatment options.

    June 24, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Lisa

    Sy2502, don't be ignorant. Before the 20th century, 50 percent of children never reached the age of 5. These diseases are killers of the very young. Their immune systems will never develop. We should all be thankful to be alive at a time when we don't have to lose half our children to devastating diseases.
    Honestly, anyone who doesn't vaccinate is a TOTAL IDIOT. Read your history. That is, if you can read...

    June 24, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Nancy

    HELLO, did you even read the article? Childhood imunization to whooping cough doesn't last into adulthood!

    June 24, 2010 at 22:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Beth

    Strangely, it was not my general practitioner who recommended a booster, but my ob-gyn. After a c-section he was gettting ready for my tetanus shot and asked when my last pertusiss booster was. He almost insisted I get the combo booster.

    June 24, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Texas mom

    I think they should check their effectiveness of the immunization. My daughter has had all immunizations yet she had Pertussis when she was in kindergarten. I diagnosed her. I had to demand she be tested. Our pediatrician was convinced she couldn't have it and he tried to make me feel guilty for asking for the test (which is not pleasant and made her vomit). They put the whole family on medication as a precaution.

    June 24, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. B

    This should keep everyone preoccupied about the fact that about half of us will get cancer because it just so happens to be a side effect of the billions of chemicals that are intentionally sprayed on everything we eat and in the air that we breathe. Keep raising billions of dollars for research and you've guaranteed they'll never get rid of it. But whooping cough should be at the forefront of our concerns.....

    June 24, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Amanda

    I had children that were immunized and they still got whooping cough. and there are a lot of reasons against having immunizations besides the autism one. It seems to me that people seem to think that they should have the right to a sick free life. Get real! I had whooping cough and so did most of the kids in my town. No one died. I know they can but one can die in a car going down the road as well.

    June 24, 2010 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Lulu

    Dear Dr. Gupta,

    Sometimes during the day I will start coughing for no apparent reason. It does not happen frequently everyday.

    Sometimes I think the cough comes for sinus draingage.
    Other times, it seems to occur when I first begin eating my meals.

    I have been concerned since in our county a few months ago, some student there tested positive for TB. All students & others who had come in contact with said studuent were tested. No others tested positive. This has also crossed my mind.

    Should I ask my doctor for a booster shot to prevent whopping cough. I was vaccinated when I was a child...but next month I will be 69. Is this shot recommended for senior citizens? Will Medicare pay for it?

    Thanks you,

    June 24, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. looseparts

    Hi Kathy. I think you're right. We were on our way to get our kids immunized, but there were so many darned immigrants harvesting our food and repairing our cars and providing valuable services that we just couldn't make it in time, and now one of our sons has whooping cough. Darned immigrants caused this. Oh. I almost forgot. Those darned immigrants asked me to tell you they don't want you on their property anymore. They want Arizona back now, so go back to Bigotsville or wherever you came from – bye.

    June 24, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Leah (TXanimal)

    @Kath: I think most of us understand that there are exceptions, we're talking about those who choose not to get ANY vaccines. You tried with the pertussis vaccination, and it caused serious side effects, however, you vaccinated your children for other communicable diseases. It's not people like you these comments are aimed at.

    It's an interestng dilemma for sure: risk a rare side effect that will only affect *your* child (not you Kath, you had reason to believe your other children would be affected), or risk the lives of the children of *many* people by choosing not to vaccinate.

    June 24, 2010 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Felicia

    Chill out on the retard rant there Bill. My sweet innocent baby is "mentally retarded" and also always up to date on his vaccinations. Making slurs against the mentally/intellectually challenged/disabled is no more okay than making racist or sexist slurs. It's a minority group that literally cannot defend itself and that anyone, including you, could join at any time after an illness or accident.

    June 24, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Kevin

    The real question is how many of those 910 were vaccinated?
    I’ll bet well over 75%- similar to the cases I studied in What was called
    an epidemic in Australia many years ago… So how effective is a vaccine when 75% or more of the time it’s ineffective? It’s amazing to see how many sheeple want everyone vaccinated, if you and your kids are vaccinated what are you worried about?

    June 24, 2010 at 23:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Carla

    Whopping cough has always existed and is much more frequent than admitted, mostly because doctors misdiagnose it or flat-out refuse to test for it (happened to me with my child). I'm glad it's getting some press, more doctors need to be educated about it and learn to diagnose it correctly.
    Everyone else needs to be educated about the fact that the vaccine is not 100% efficient (no vaccine is) meaning you can be vaccinated and still get it. And, it is one of the vaccines with the worst record on severe reactions, including brain damage and death.
    Next, there is a HUGE misconception that vaccinated people cannot transmit the disease, which is obviously wrong. Just because you have antibodies and will not get sick from a disease doesn't mean this bacteria cannot be in your nose or throat and you can easily pass it on.
    So, I agree that what we need are articles that talk about the symptoms to helpe everyone identify it. Plus, information on how to boost everyone's immune system. Including those of expecting women and newborns. A healthy mother who has acquired immunity to this disease naturally (not by vaccine) will help protect her infant through breastfeeding in the first few months of the baby's life, which is when this disease is the most dangerous. The fast-food, can-bottle-feed lifestyle is what all diseases thrive on because it kills our own immune system. So, more real info please, not polemic!

    June 24, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Mole

    So what do you armchair physicians think causes autism? It may or may not be vaccinations. They don't know. There is no myth or fact when there is no conclusive evidence to completely rule out the combination of vaccines they give to babies these days. Check your facts you "keyboard doctors". We are seeing young affluent celebrities dying from combination drug interactions. You think kids get the whooping cough vaccine by itself? They get a "cocktail" of vaccinations now and there are no conclusive studies to rule out anything.

    June 24, 2010 at 23:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. mnsunshine

    many vaccinations cause more harm than good and i would argue, take advantage of parents' fears to make money. people be smart. don't take your newborns out everywhere. feed your children healthy foods, get enough sleep, play outside, don't sanitize the heck out of everything and let their immune systems do what they are supposed to.
    it truly amazes me how worked up people get over unvaccinated kids yet don't blink an eye to csections, pitocin, epidurals, etc. where's the outrage over our infant and maternal mortality rate in the USA?

    June 24, 2010 at 23:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Andrea

    I understand it is really dangerous for infants. Other children who aren't immunized can expose babies with tragic results. Keep up with the immunizations to protect your own children... and your neighbors!

    June 25, 2010 at 00:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Sentinal2012

    California is not the only place that gets hit with the whooping cough. The origins though have been traced back to South America (Brazil) not Mexico, in past quasi epidemics. Exposure has been through family visits to South America on school vacations and/or travelling salesmen. It can take down a school district. Would distribution of a vaccine in South America save American dollars in the long-run?

    June 25, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Ian

    "Dr. Chavez said that lack of information and inoculations in agricultural regions in the state’s Central Valley — home to many Latino farm workers — might be a culprit in the high incidence in that community. And indeed, Fresno County — in the heart of the valley — has the highest number of cases in the state, with 72 reported in May alone. "

    from the NYT

    June 25, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. belindakmn

    Can someone explain, (using reason and logic, please), what being against illegal immigration has to do with racism?

    June 25, 2010 at 00:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. takemeaway

    READ THE REST OF THE STORY PEOPLE. In the story that you read on the other page, it says that it's NORMAL for the disease to spike every five years. It also says that most "immunized" middle school kids have lost their immunity to it by the time they are in middle school. Put the pitchforks against illegals away.

    June 25, 2010 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. lisa

    yes this outbreak is most likely caused by someone bringing it over here and children not being immunized. it is a sad disappointing thing all around. One comment was made about being a stay-at-home mom and autism. To clarify, being a stay at home does not guarrantee your child will not be affected by autism and the way someone parents the child can not cause austism. I have been a sahm for 11 yrs now and we have 4 wonderful boys who are current on all immunizations. Our youngest is 3 and is affected by autism. Do I think the immunizations had a roll in it? No. Do I think it's possible? Yes. Will I continue to immunize our children? Yes, because as a parent it is my responsibility to protect my children and as a human being,to respect the quality of life of others.

    Back to the case at point, there needs to be more education about the dangers of forgoing immunizations and stricter guidelines for travelers and immunizations.

    June 25, 2010 at 00:44 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.