Parents at Sasha and Malia's school warned of pertussis outbreak

December 17th, 2010 → 7:10 pm @

The past several years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of pertussis (more commonly known as whooping cough) cases in areas around the country. California has been especially hard hit: Already this year, ten children there have died after being infected. Nine of them were under two months old, the age at which the first dose of the pertussis vaccine is administered. (According to the California Department of Public Health (pdf), there were 7,297 pertussis infections in the state through November 30. That’s the most number of cases since 1947, which was before the pertussis vaccine was put into widespread use.)

One side effect of these outbreaks has been increased awareness that teenagers and adults need regular pertussis boosters–and that even those fully people who are fully vaccinated are not necessarily immune. (No vaccine is 100 percent effective. There’ll be more on that in a later post.) Recently, a pair of fully vaccinated teenagers in Washington, DC were diagnosed with whooping cough. As a result, the parents of children at the Sidwell Friends School–including, I assume, President and Mrs. Obama, whose two daughters are enrolled there–received the following e-mail: (more…)

Post Categories: California & Obama & pertussis & Washington DC