Breaking down whooping cough
October 21st, 2010
10:40 AM ET

Breaking down whooping cough

Pertussis, or whooping cough, which has claimed its 10th death in California, is caused by bacteria that can lead to severe upper respiratory infections.  Here's what you need to know.

What are the signs?

Whooping cough's symptoms are hard to distinguish from the common cold - runny nose, congestion, sneezing, red, watery eyes, a mild fever and coughing.  The coughs may have a high-pitched "whoop" sound when the sick person is trying to draw in the next breath of air.

But whooping cough might be a misleading name because many people — particularly infants (who have been mainly affected by this outbreak) — don't develop the characteristic whoop. FULL POST

October 20th, 2010
12:23 PM ET

Do children in the U.S. have to get more shots?

Today on CNNHealth, we take a look at the anxieties and doubts some U.S. parents have about the frequency and quality of vaccines administered to children. The reluctance to vaccinate has been theorized to be one of the reasons behind a whooping cough outbreak in California, which  claimed its 10th child victim today.

A Centers for Disease Control and Preventions committee on immunization practices is expected to meet next week. This committee makes recommendations for the routine vaccines for children and adults.

Some parents who've moved to this country from abroad say it feels as if the United States requires significantly more immunizations compared with other countries. Judging by the list below of scheduled immunizations, that's true for some countries, but not all. Here's a look at vaccine schedules around the world, based on information from the World Health Organization. To look up other countries, check out WHO's webpage. FULL POST

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.


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About this blog

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.