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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 (201 Responses)
  1. lisa

    In reguards to forgoing immunizations, for some it is the right thing to do. Like kath posted, it was known that her other children had severe reactions. It's the skipping immunizations just because others are doing it, or because you keep forgetting to make the appt or because your friend has you convinced it causes autism. these are the ones that may need help to truly understand the big picture and come to a decision. Not just jump on the no-vaccine bandwagon.

    June 25, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. In California

    It's my understanding that after about 5 years this vaccine begins to wear off. "Little" children get their last shot around kindergarten, then a booster around 11 years old. So older children between 9 and 12 are coming down with this; also adults who need to get a booster (it's often give with a tetanus vaccine). The older children/adults may recover – after several weeks of coughing – but it's the babies that they interact with, who have an incomplete series of vaccinations, who are in the most danger.

    June 25, 2010 at 01:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. valarie

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/24/us/24cough.html

    Here is the report – California – Migrant Workers brought the whooping cough and are spreading it.
    Northern CA.

    June 25, 2010 at 01:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Ugh

    To Bill: "Too all you idiots..." Too = also. I think you meant, "TO all you idiots..." It's ironic that you would be calling anyone else an idiot.

    June 25, 2010 at 02:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. MikeTheInfidel

    Kath, you have absolutely no reason to assume that all of your children will have the same reactions. As for permanent brain damage, there is no evidence that vaccines have ever caused that.

    June 25, 2010 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Concerned Alaskan

    I know two adults who have gotten whooping cough in the last two years: one was in his 60's and lives in Alaska, and the other is in his 50's and lives in Oklahoma. Both were extremely sick and miserable for some time. Fortunately they both survived. This sent me running to my family practice doctor for a booster shot designed for adults that protects from tetanus, diptheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Since I'm over 60 I've also had my shingles vaccine and been vaccinated for pneumonia. Adults of all ages need to keep their immunizations current, and certainly our children and young adults do as well. Complications from these diseases are not harmless. Just ask someone who has suffered the side effects from complications of a communicable disease. Most public health nurses can provide you with plenty of real life horror stories! I have a granddaughter who had life-threatening complications from chicken pox. Now we are fortunate enough to have a vaccine. Parents, please take advantage of it!

    June 25, 2010 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. ahm

    Many factors need to be considered to stop the spread of an epidemic, and these include knowledge of the demographics involved. Areas that are overcrowded with illegal aliens (who, unlike legal immigrants, have not been screened for diseases) are natural environments for the spread of communicable diseases.

    One poster stated that it's racist to comment on these facts; however, illegal aliens are grouped by criminal behavior, not race. It's not racist to insist that a country's laws be followed by all.

    As to the statement that Michigan has a whooping cough problem, too: Michigan Illegal Alien Population (2008 FAIR est.): 125,000

    Should illegal aliens be blamed individually for this epidemic? No. Is their presence a likely contributing factor? Absolutely.

    June 25, 2010 at 02:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. LiLRedCV

    I'm betting it involves all those ILLEGALS that CA is so quick to protect from the FEDERAL LAW! There's a source someplace and it often involves someone from another country...

    While I believe immunizations have done a world of good, I also believe they've done serious harm to our children. They shove so many toxic chemicals into their tiny little systems (from birth) for diseases our body tends to create natural immunes to once they've had it and recovered. I have never ever advised a parent to not get their child a vaccine, but I have strongly encouraged a parent to EDUCATE themselves on the risks and benefits.

    Food for thought tho': IF vaccines weren't causing problems in the first place, why create the NATIONAL CHILDHOOD VACCINE INJURY ACT and have a certain percentage of each vaccine purchased to cover these injuries?!? They had such a surge in families filing a claim that it took YEARS to settle once the claim was accepted because they lacked the funds to cover the injuries they did cause.

    As for the studies that allegedly show that autism isn't caused by vaccines.. weren't those done by the very companies and/or doctors that have a direct vested interest in them? What about potential payoffs for the companies doing the study? The results of such things can be toyed with to lean in favor of "debunking the myth".

    June 25, 2010 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Anth

    CDC has said time and time before, it is from mexico and other south amerca countries.

    June 25, 2010 at 03:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. LiLRedCV

    Kath – Thank you for sharing your story regarding adverse reactions to vaccines.

    I, too, had a child that had an adverse reaction to a series of vaccines (he had his DPT, OPV, and MMR all in the same visit) when he was 18mos old. We didn't know if he'd live or die at that time.

    Similar stuff you went through with added medical issues. Our son was in and out of hospitals and had one medical test after the other from SIX different doctors with the verdict coming back the same each time: vaccine related!

    Despite my personal experience? I have never ever, ever advised a parent to avoid vaccines! I do advocate EDUCATING themselves first and then making their decision upon that.

    June 25, 2010 at 03:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. StarChamber

    People are afraid to get vaccines because they are made in China and tainted with other viruses.

    June 25, 2010 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. DON ELLIOTT

    OOPS, I THOUGHT THE GODS (SCIENTISTS) HAD THIS THING TAKEN CARE OF. HOW MANY DESEASES HAVE THEY WIPED OUT THAT KEEP RETURNING. MAYBE ITS TRUE WHAT ONE VERY SMART SCIENTIST SAID "ALL THINGS ARE MADE OF MATTER, AND MATTER CANNOT BE CREATED OR DESTROYED"

    June 25, 2010 at 04:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. DC

    To Nathan: Yes 910 cases is an epidemic when we normally only see about 100 cases a year.

    And no it is not the illegals.....most of those patients come directly to a doctor upon arrival and get immunized because they have not had access to care in their own country and want to protect their kids from any and all disease possible. If anything, the illegal populations tend to be over-vigilant about health care (hence the overloaded emergency rooms!)

    All of you people who are not vaccinating your children because of your own fears and Jenny McCarthy are responsible for those deaths. Stop listening to morons....look at the science and immunize your children.

    June 25, 2010 at 04:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. dalemaddox

    Here is the vaccine schedule. And we immunize babies routinely. Who said they can't be?????

    From CDC.gov

    FIGURE 1. Recommended immunization schedule for persons aged 0 through 6 years - United States, 2010 (for those who fall behind or start late, see the catch-up schedule [Table])
    Recommended immunization schedule for persons aged 0 through 6 years - United States, 2010 (for those who fall behind or start late, see the catch-up schedule [Table])

    This schedule includes recommendations in effect as of December 15, 2009. Any dose not administered at the recommended age should be administered at a subsequent visit, when indicated and feasible. The use of a combination vaccine generally is preferred over separate injections of its equivalent component vaccines. Considerations should include provider assessment, patient preference, and the potential for adverse events. Providers should consult the relevant Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices statement for detailed recommendations: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/acip-list.htm. Clinically significant adverse events that follow immunization should be reported to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) at http://www.vaers.hhs.gov or by telephone, 800-822-7967.

    1. Hepatitis B vaccine (HepB). (Minimum age: birth)
    At birth:
    * Administer monovalent HepB to all newborns before hospital discharge.
    * If mother is hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive, administer HepB and 0.5 mL of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) within 12 hours of birth.
    * If mother's HBsAg status is unknown, administer HepB within 12 hours of birth. Determine mother's HBsAg status as soon as possible and, if HBsAg-positive, administer HBIG (no later than age 1 week).

    After the birth dose:
    * The HepB series should be completed with either monovalent HepB or a combination vaccine containing HepB. The second dose should be administered at age 1 or 2 months. Monovalent HepB vaccine should be used for doses administered before age 6 weeks. The final dose should be administered no earlier than age 24 weeks.
    * Infants born to HBsAg-positive mothers should be tested for HBsAg and antibody to HBsAg 1 to 2 months after completion of at least 3 doses of the HepB series, at age 9 through 18 months (generally at the next well-child visit).
    * Administration of 4 doses of HepB to infants is permissible when a combination vaccine containing HepB is administered after the birth dose. The fourth dose should be administered no earlier than age 24 weeks.
    2. Rotavirus vaccine (RV). (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
    * Administer the first dose at age 6 through 14 weeks (maximum age: 14 weeks 6 days). Vaccination should not be initiated for infants aged 15 weeks 0 days or older.
    * The maximum age for the final dose in the series is 8 months 0 days
    * If Rotarix is administered at ages 2 and 4 months, a dose at 6 months is not indicated.
    3. Diphtheria and tetanus toxoids and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP).
    (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
    * The fourth dose may be administered as early as age 12 months, provided at least 6 months have elapsed since the third dose.
    * Administer the final dose in the series at age 4 through 6 years.
    4. Haemophilus influenzae type b conjugate vaccine (Hib).
    (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
    * If PRP-OMP (PedvaxHIB or Comvax [HepB-Hib]) is administered at ages 2 and 4 months, a dose at age 6 months is not indicated.
    * TriHiBit (DTaP/Hib) and Hiberix (PRP-T) should not be used for doses at ages 2, 4, or 6 months for the primary series but can be used as the final dose in children aged 12 months through 4 years.
    5. Pneumococcal vaccine. (Minimum age: 6 weeks for pneumococcal conjugate vaccine [PCV]; 2 years for pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine [PPSV])
    * PCV is recommended for all children aged younger than 5 years. Administer 1 dose of PCV to all healthy children aged 24 through 59 months who are not completely vaccinated for their age.
    * Administer PPSV 2 or more months after last dose of PCV to children aged 2 years or older with certain underlying medical conditions, including a cochlear implant. See MMWR 1997;46(No. RR-8).
    6. Inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) (Minimum age: 6 weeks)
    * The final dose in the series should be administered on or after the fourth birthday and at least 6 months following the previous dose.
    * If 4 doses are administered prior to age 4 years a fifth dose should be administered at age 4 through 6 years. See MMWR 2009;58(30):829–30.
    7. Influenza vaccine (seasonal). (Minimum age: 6 months for trivalent inactivated influenza vaccine [TIV]; 2 years for live, attenuated influenza vaccine [LAIV])
    * Administer annually to children aged 6 months through 18 years.
    * For healthy children aged 2 through 6 years (i.e., those who do not have underlying medical conditions that predispose them to influenza complications), either LAIV or TIV may be used, except LAIV should not be given to children aged 2 through 4 years who have had wheezing in the past 12 months.
    * Children receiving TIV should receive 0.25 mL if aged 6 through 35 months or 0.5 mL if aged 3 years or older.
    * Administer 2 doses (separated by at least 4 weeks) to children aged younger than 9 years who are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time or who were vaccinated for the first time during the previous influenza season but only received 1 dose.
    * For recommendations for use of influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine see MMWR 2009;58(No. RR-10).
    8. Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR). (Minimum age: 12 months)
    * Administer the second dose routinely at age 4 through 6 years. However, the second dose may be administered before age 4, provided at least 28 days have elapsed since the first dose.
    9. Varicella vaccine. (Minimum age: 12 months)
    * Administer the second dose routinely at age 4 through 6 years. However, the second dose may be administered before age 4, provided at least 3 months have elapsed since the first dose.
    * For children aged 12 months through 12 years the minimum interval between doses is 3 months. However, if the second dose was administered at least 28 days after the first dose, it can be accepted as valid.
    10. Hepatitis A vaccine (HepA). (Minimum age: 12 months)
    * Administer to all children aged 1 year (i.e., aged 12 through 23 months). Administer 2 doses at least 6 months apart.
    * Children not fully vaccinated by age 2 years can be vaccinated at subsequent visits
    * HepA also is recommended for older children who live in areas where vaccination programs target older children, who are at increased risk for infection, or for whom immunity against hepatitis A is desired.
    11. Meningococcal vaccine. (Minimum age: 2 years for meningococcal conjugate vaccine [MCV4] and for meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine [MPSV4])
    * Administer MCV4 to children aged 2 through 10 years with persistent complement component deficiency, anatomic or functional asplenia, and certain other conditions placing tham at high risk.
    * Administer MCV4 to children previously vaccinated with MCV4 or MPSV4 after 3 years if first dose administered at age 2 through 6 years. See MMWR 2009;58:1042-

    June 25, 2010 at 07:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Samara

    Epidemic or PANDEMIC?
    If it is only affecting California at the moment it would be a PANDEMIC occurance; occuring in an isolated area. EPIDEMIC=Widespread.
    My children have autism. It was not caused by my not being a 'stay at home mom'. They have been vaccinated. It is a genetic defect.

    June 25, 2010 at 07:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Michael

    I work with the highway patrol and investigate car crashes. I can state that some people do die because they are unable to release their seat belt (usually in water submerges). While this is tragic, the risk of dying because of not wearing a seatbelt is so much higher refusing to wear one is illegal. Vaccination is even more serious. Not wearing a seat belt endangers me. Not being vaccinated endangers me and everyone around me. We can't afford to be self-concerned in a community because our choices impact so many others and not ourselves alone.

    June 25, 2010 at 07:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Marcella

    I had whooping cough when I was young and ended up staying home from school. I got over it. I had the mumps as well. Was it a picnic having either of these diseases, no. I recall both being very uncomfortable. I wasn't hospitalized for either sickness. Both of my parents had these childhood diseases as well (and yes both of my parents were well educated). Would I vaccinate my children given the choice, no, I wouldn't. Why risk the complications from the vaccinations. It should concern parents that companies making these vaccines are granted complete immunity from any liability related to health problems as a result of taking vaccines. I find it silly that when we are sick we dismiss any doctor's advice to stay home and rest. Oh wait, we have to go out and earn our livings. We can't take the time to be sick. This is part of the reason we have vaccinations. It's economically more viable to get a vaccination and not have to deal with being sick because we can't take time off work. How many of us go to work when we are ill and think nothing of it?

    June 25, 2010 at 07:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. giz

    910 cases is an epidemic? Seriously?

    June 25, 2010 at 07:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Paul

    The World Class Toronto Hospital for Sick Children has done a massive DNA study of autistic children and have found that all autistic children are missing parts of DNA. The curious thing is they are not all missing the same code, however the effect on the child is the same. Now I'm no geneticist but I'm pretty sure a vaccine can not wipe out parts of your DNA. If there are any real journalist out there do a piece on the info I just mentioned.

    June 25, 2010 at 07:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Kentucky

    Older kids-teenagers need a booster shot as well. Whooping cough is called the 100 days cough in some countries-not a nice thing to have. Get your shots!

    June 25, 2010 at 08:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Brenda

    I can't believe how many people choose to scapegoat immigrants! For heaven's sake, many, many parents do not choose to vaccinate their children. Until recently these children were protected because everyone around them was vaccinated! In fact rarely did adults contract this sickness because most people were vaccinated. Now so many are not vaccinated there is limited protection and innocent people are being affected by ignorant, selfish people who are afraid of the bad ol government and refusing to immunize. Let's place blame where it belongs..........selfish citizens who refuse to immunize for the safety of their children as well as for their communities and country. Shameful!

    June 25, 2010 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Treva

    I had whooping cough about a year ago...took me about 4 months to get over the constant cough...all day and all night. It was miserable...not to mention VERY annoying. Took dr 3 visits to finally give me the blood test to diagnose it. OMG....I don't wish this on ANYONE!!! I had the vaccination as a child but who thought I'd get it at age 50!!! It's airborne...so no telling where I acquired it!

    June 25, 2010 at 08:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Troy

    What truly amazes me is the lack of education and common sense premeates the whole debate about vaccinations. The intent of vaccinations is obviously good but as with anything, if implemented wrong i.e. Polio Vaccine in Africa, we can see the results. Oh yes, the most under or should I say misreported medical story. And to think, you all have been duped to believe that AIDS had something to do with Sex and Monkeys. The public has always been the Sheep.

    Never forget it's all about the money and if anyone is ignorant enough to believe that 25% of autism cases aren't related to vaccination or that more children have died from the Petussis vaccination than the disease or that Doctors are human like everyone else (most can't tell you the ingredients of the flu shot (a vaccination) or why is Formaldehyde or Squalene in the those shots. If you truly consider yourself education, fair-minded or have a ounce of common sense, take the time I have to read all sides (and especially the government data (which is under-reported since I don't know one doctor who openly admits a mistake for legal and financial reasons) and you will see even still the numbers are scary. If vaccinations are safe then why is their a government compensation fund. Did BP offer compensation for the Gulf for no reason? No one creates a compensation fund, especially the government, without know there is a justification. It's immune overload. We are the guinea pigs for PHARMA. if you think that our medical establishment like the AMA isn't corruptable then you are absolutely living in LALA land. Doctors are people just like Policeman, Businessman, Public Officials, there are good, bad and most somewhere in the middle but all corruptible for the right price or circumstances (credit problems, divorce, financial hardship). If you don't believe that educate yourself on every major Drug/FDA recall that show falsified test results by physicians. Open your eyes and minds, educate yourself and then make an informed decision.

    June 25, 2010 at 08:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. bmsvds

    Parents knowingly sending their infected kids to school so they won't miss work. What do they care if other kids catch it?

    June 25, 2010 at 08:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Docblogger

    To the parent of 2 children, Kath, who had reaction to "P" portion of DTP. What will happen if the real virus hits any of the children, if the dead or attenuated virus cannot be controlled? Something to be vary about.

    On another matter, for those of you implicating illegals, I have another thought for you, tourists. Their rotating numbers would swamp illegals residents.

    June 25, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Jon

    It was reported years ago that the immigrants (legal or not is not the issue) from south of the border were bringing in TB. Immigrants from other countries that do not have adequate health care are sources of any outbreak like this. Doesn't anyone remember the H1N1? It started in Mexico.

    June 25, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Michael S

    I'm sorry to hear about the health problem in CA. Being in NY, I am glad I don't have to worry as much. I had a bad allergic reaction to the Diptheria, pertussis and Tetnus combination immunization shot when I was 6. I have not had a booster of any single of combo of it since (22 years later). I guess it's time for me to discuss the options I have incase this becomes a national issue, which according to tajenks, it might be already.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Pat

    Bill, the only retard here is you. And by the way..all of you who don't have an autistic child....of course the AMA is not going to admit that vaccines have nothing to do with it...think of the lawsuits! By the way, if you are over 50 years old you probably only rec'd about 3 or 4 vaccines in your whole life and you survived. Babies and toddlers today are given 17 or more!

    June 25, 2010 at 09:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Regina P

    Seems to me to be a 'perfect storm' for resurgence of many preventable diseases, as is happening now with whooping cough...larger numbers of parents refusing to vaccinate and an influx of unvaccinated illegal immigrants, both eroding herd immunity. Sadly, it's the unvaccinated very young babies most at risk. Stay away from unvaccinated kids!

    June 25, 2010 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. moderate

    those who force vaccinations should also offer to pay for the child if the child develops autism after vaccinated.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jennifer I

    A vaccination does not guarantee that you won't get the illness, but it does make it less severe. We've had whooping cough in my house many times over the past year - my kids are five and three, and we vaccinate. So don't be so judgemental.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Cat

    Adults need to get a booster vaccination for Pertussis. That's how it's usually spread to babies. Many adults haven't been vaccinated against Pertussis since childhood. It requires a booster shot every so many years.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Alexis

    Bill, I agree with you.

    Get children VACCINATED!!!!!

    It does NOT cause Autism!

    June 25, 2010 at 09:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Susan

    Just as important as children receiving vaccinations is adults getting a booster for pertussis/Whooping cough. Many babies get these infections from parents who received childhood immunizations that are no longer active. A good time to get vaccinated for moms is while in the hospital after delivery (never during pregnancy). Ask for it and protect your child!!

    June 25, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Alexis

    ATTENTION all parents with young children and infants.

    Ask your PCP about TDap. It's a TD booster with acellular pertussis. It's a one time deal that may help you better proctect your children.....

    Ask grandparents to get this as well.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Terri, FL

    I can't believe some of the comments made about families with autistic children. The callous disreguard for these family's struggles is unbelievable. To make the struggle even harder in case you didn't know most insurance companies don't cover the unbelievable cost of treatment and therapy these children need. Obviously the public needs to be more educated about this disease because some of the comments made by other readers shows how much lack of knowledge there is out there about autism. Until you have walked in the shoes of a family dealing with the devistation of this diagnosis don't be so quick to judge.

    June 25, 2010 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Samantha

    Any child death is a horrible thing. But don't put all non-vaxers in one box of "child neglect". Myself, my brother, and our mother all had severe reactions to DPT and are medically contra-indicated from receiving that vaccine. My first son had worsening reactions to each dose of the new (supposedly less-reactive) DTaP, to the point that I stopped the series for him after the 3rd one. My middle son has a primary immune deficiency due to a chromosomal syndrome, so is not able to be vaccinated. Because of our complicated family history, I have chosen to not vaccinate my third son.

    Pertussis can be a severe disease, but can also be very mild and is a majority of the time. It is usually only those with moderate to severe cases that seek out medical help, but when members of the family are also tested, they discover that other have it even in the absence of severe symptoms.

    The vaccine is one of the least-effective vaccines on the market, and has been reformulated several times due to issues with severe reactions. The manufacturer is still working on trying to increase the efficacy and decrease the reactions. It is THE MOST problematic vaccine on the market today.

    There also is considerable discussion whether the vaccine prevents transmission. It appears that it may be possible for a vaccinated individual to be a "carrier" of Pertussis, even though they don't exhibit symptoms, thereby spreading it unknowingly.

    The vaccine has been on the market for decades, but the medical community has never gotten a handle on this illness (unlike other vaccine "preventable" illnesses which have steadily declined). That alone tells you that there are issues with this vaccine. Even in areas where vaccine rates are supposedly high enough for "herd immunity" there have been outbreaks with no known un or undervaccinated source.

    This disease is poorly understood and the vaccine is poorly manufactured.

    I do not fear Autism, I do not believe that all vaccines are bad, I am not a hippy parent, I am not anti-medicine. I do, however, thoroughly consider risk/benefits of every medical treatment, and this particular vaccine did not pass the risk/benefit analysis for my family.

    June 25, 2010 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Marian Atkinson

    I find comments here very strange in that many blame 'immigrants' and 'not vaccinating children' against whooping cough. I live in a place with very little immigration, let alone illegal immigration. In Canada, children automatically receive all the childhood immunization shots and vaccinations. My baby had an allergic reaction to the pertussis in his 1st vaccination and my doctor advised me have further vaccinations without the pertussis element included, ie. the immunization against whooping cough. At age 4, my son contracted whooping cough - classical, dreadful, frightening. It took him about 3-5 years for him to overcome the bronchial weakness that resulted from the disease. Other kids in his pre-school also contracted the disease that year, but with the immunizations, their cases were much milder and manageable. So, even with the vaccinations, you are not necessarily totally immune; and there are situations when even the good intentions of parents to have the immunizations can be ruled out due to negative/allergic reactions which can be just as deadly as the disease itself. You shouldn't be so quick to place 'blame'.

    June 25, 2010 at 10:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Pat F

    Mole, you know what is the most important link that has been found to autism? Father's age. All these old geezers having second families, "trophy" wives, and all the Peter Pans around who never want to grow up and have families until they are in their 40's – THAT is what is causing the spike in autism. But no one wants to accept that having kids is for YOUNG people – everyone wants to be a kid themselves for 40 years and THEN start families. Sorry, the biological clock ticks for BOTH sexes.

    June 25, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. KCL

    Any death of a child is tragic, and it happens because of disease and also in reaction to vaccines as well. To all of you who judge others for not getting vaccinated, maybe if you did some more research into the issue you would realize that no, it is not all junk science in reference to vaccinations and adverse reactions. I have spent hours and hours researching this topic so that i may have all the necessary information to make an informed decision. There is ample evidence that the pertussis vaccine can cause serious adverse reactions, including death, in some children. Although the pertussis vaccine may not cause autism, there are other toxic ingredients in this vaccine and all others, that are really an assault on a small child's body. For example, aluminum and formaldehyde to name just two. Can't wait to inject that into my child! And the studies claiming that other vaccines, particularly the MMR vaccine, does NOT cause autism, have been proven to be flawed and surprise, surprise, were conducted by scientists with ties to the vaccine industry. And yes mercury is still in some vaccines because companies are allowed to use up existing stock of vaccines that still contain it. And yes mercury is toxic – why do you think it is considered to be one of the most dangerous substances! Do your research! And the argument that if my child is not vaccinated it will put your child at risk, consider this: many outbreaks of disease, including pertussis, measles, and chicken pox, were found to originate in 100% VACCINATED communities. And vaccines are not 100% effective – the CDC clearly states such. So your argument is that I risk my child's health with a potentially dangerous shot, so that your child MAY be protected against a particular disease, and if my child is permanently injured or DIES from the vaccine, well then I guess that's alright because it's for the good of everyone else. How would you like to be the parent of the child with a permanent health problem or the one who dies from the vaccine? It happens all the time. The government has created a program to reimburse families for children who have been injured or died from vaccines because there are many that are. Ask yourself why we have epidemics of autism and other learning disabilities, asthma, etc among our children now which never existed before they were given so many shots at such young ages. So we trade the potential for them possibly getting one disease for a lifetime of health issues. And ask yourself this: does your pediatrician EVER tell you what the potential risks from a particular vaccine are? Most likely no, and they should. It's a medical procedure that carries risks like any other. If you know your history, you would know that the death rates and the diseases that we vaccinate for now were already in decline BEFORE vaccinations started due to better nutrition and sanitation. I did the research, now you look it up if you think you know so much. The choice of the parent is a difficult one – because there can be serious risks from both the disease and the vaccine for it. No one including the government, has the right to force anyone to have any medical procedure, or to force any parent to do so to their child, claiming that if they don't, they will be charged with child neglect. This is still America, is it not? Are we not free anymore or would you all prefer that our government force medical procedures on us under threat of incarceration or taking our children away? Move to a communist country if that is what you want. Most diseases become dangerous to a child if they are living in an unhealthy environment and are not receiving proper nutrition. Again, vaccines contain toxic ingredients and tainted animal viruses (anyone here remember the RECENT recall of the rotavirus vaccines because it is tainted with dangerous pig virus?) How about the scores of completely healthy girls disabled and DEAD from the gardasil vaccine, here and abroad? Again, look it up. Or go ahead, vaccinate your child to do your part to protect your community, and if your baby dies from the vaccine, you did your duty. In closing, every parent should have the right to make this decision, free from condemnation from others. Parents make these decisions based on what they believe to best for their baby. STOP with the judgement. Maybe if you talked with a parent who has a child injured from a vaccine, you would not be so quick to judge.

    June 25, 2010 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Amy

    Most infants get whooping cough from a parent; the vaccine doesn't last forever & adults rarely get boosters–except for tetanus (when we step on a rusty nail or something). That's why they combine the whooping cough vaccine with the tetanus vaccine. Keep your own shots up to date, as well as your childrens'.

    June 25, 2010 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. De

    Immunizations are a false sense of security. Allowing viruses, bacteria and a mulitude of toxic chemicals directly into the bloodstream is insane. I'm sure most of us wouldn't drink the contents of a vaccine much less shoot it into the arms of our most precious children. The sad part is, when there are "outbreaks" of diseases the majority of those affected appear to be those that were vaccinate ala the measles outbreak in the Jewish community in NY earlier this year.

    Take control of your health by building your immune system through whole foods, probiotics, avoiding sugar, caffeine, junkfoods and as many toxins as possible. Viruses will always outsmart us by mutating, the trick is in strengthening the immune system to outsmart them. We can't vaccinate against every illness, but wouldn't BIG PHARMA love it if we try!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Stacy

    People – vaccinate your children!! Whoppig cough is PREVENTABLE. Good grief!

    June 25, 2010 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Dave

    What do immigrants have to do with this? It is wealthy white people who are choosing not to inoculate their kids causing the problem. These people then take their kids on expensive vacations to countries where the CDC recommends inoculations before going there, or hire people from these countries as nannies and therefore expose their kids that they don't innoculate. Don't blame the immigrants, blame the wealthy white people who hire foreign nannies that they have to pay cash, all because they don't want to pay them payroll taxes while they then complain about how immigrants cause all the problems. Maybe if the people against immigrants stopped illegally paying them cash, the immigrant problem would go away. And as for inoculations, get real and study the facts. Inoculations save lives. Lots of lives. What do you think, the HMO's WANT to have to spend tons of money to take care of kids with side effects from inoculations? No, they want to keep kids healthy, they make more money when people are healthy. Even if you don't trust the government, you definitely CAN trust the HMO's to watch their bottom line and the bottom line is inoculated kids are healthier and require less medical care in their lifetimes because they are less likely to get sick (or die) from major disease!!!!!

    June 25, 2010 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Lisa

    It never ceases to amaze me how many people tout the virtues of vaccines without knowing how they actually work. The pertussis vaccine does not prevent transmission or infection of disease, it only lessens the effects of the disease in the person who is vaccinated. Most inactivated vaccines work this way, whereas the live virus vaccines prevent infection and transmission but themselves can shed the disease and inadvertently infect persons nearby (oral polio vaccine, anyone?)

    Felicia, I'm very sorry for your loss, I have 2 children and am pregnant with my third and can't imagine losing any of them, but even if every single person in the world had been vaccinated it wouldn't have made a difference for your son since he was too young to get the vaccine himself.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. KP

    Many of the above commenters seem to assume that the problem is caused by unvaccinated children. Please note that there is more to it than that. My boys (2 and 4 at the time) had pertussis a year ago. Both were on schedule for their vaccinations, but DTap vaccine is administered over several years, and their cycles were not complete (not for lack of regular shots – it was just that they were not at the end of the standard vaccine schedule yet). Moreover, the doctor told me that me and the other ADULTS who were in contact with the kids (who had ALL been vaccinated at children) needed to get boosters, as the vaccine does not necessarily give lifetime immunity. So if you are reading this, and cannot remember your last pertussis shot, TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR ABOUT WHETHER YOU CAN GET A BOOSTER.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Jennifer

    If it were because of illegal immigrants, you'd think this be an issue ALL THE TIME since there have been illegal immigrants in CA for awhile. Quit pointing the finger because the economy is bad and you want someone to blame for everything. Typical Americans.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Prolib

      Jennifer,
      These outbreaks have been a problem for years. The diffrence now is the illegal population has grown to close 5 times of what we had coming in to the U.S. 20 years ago.

      June 26, 2010 at 12:20 | Report abuse |
  48. blackberry

    I am alarmed by all these negative coments about non- vaccinating parents.

    Children who receive vaccinations fall ill with whooping cough and polio; they also contaminate other children.

    Clearly there is something wrong when the vaccinations themselves provide neither protection nor immunity.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Kimberley McLean

    Yup, not just kids. I had it as a 4 yr-old in 1962, then vaccinations, and guess what? At age 48, got it again. Apparently we now know the vaccination doesn't last a lifetime. Four months of misery and a cracked rib, the coughing was so violent. At 50 – again – although because we identified it early, was able to get the rest to suffer only 3 months! Thankful that this past Fall I had no issues. If you are coughing hard enough to vomit – see your doctor right away and REST!

    June 25, 2010 at 11:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Maithu

    Let's all thank Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaccination camp for this.

    June 25, 2010 at 11:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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