What's happening in 2012?
As of July 20, Alameda County has reported 18 cases of Pertussis with 0 deaths this calendar year. According to the California Department of Public Health April 24, 2012 report, there have been no Pertussis deaths in California since the 2010 epidemic. So far California has had 169 cases reported in 2012. Disease activity is decreased and deaths appear to be at historic lows. We do continue to receive and investigate suspected or confirmed cases. At this time there are outbreaks happening in several states, including Washington State, which declared a Pertussis epidemic in April 2012.
In 2011, Alameda County reported a total of 212 probable or confirmed cases with 0 deaths. Across California, 2,937 cases were reported to the California Department of Health in calendar year 2011. Disease activity in 2011 was at relatively increased levels throughout the state. However, by the end of 2011 the number of new cases reported had declined.
The final pertussis case count in California for calendar year 2010 was 9,349 and 10 deaths (all infants). That total was the most pertussis cases reported in California in 63 years. Alameda County reported 403 cases of pertussis and 0 deaths in 2010, up from 33 cases total in 2009.
What is Pertussis?
Pertussis (whooping cough) disease is a very contagious disease of the lungs and respiratory system. It is caused by bacteria. Infants and young children are the most vulnerable, as well as pregnant women, infant caregivers and household members.
How is Pertussis Spread?
Pertussis or “whooping cough” is spread by tiny wet drops produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks. People with whooping cough can spread the disease from the time they get a runny nose until 3 weeks after their cough starts. People with whooping cough can prevent spreading the disease if they take the right antibiotics.
Older children and adults, including parents, often have mild disease. They can spread whooping cough and not know it. This is because they do not feel very sick so they do not see a doctor or get treated. People with whooping cough should get treated with antibiotics. They should avoid close contact with others, especially babies and pregnant women, until they have taken 5 days of the right antibiotics.
California Department of Public Health - Pertussis
Centers for Disease Control - Pertussis