Urging Californians to remain vigilant, officials announce that the state recorded no deaths in 2011 for the first time in two decades.
Facing an epidemic of whooping cough that led to the deaths of 10 infants in 2010, California public health officials launched a massive vaccination effort and public awareness campaign about the disease.
And on Tuesday, they announced the payoff: no deaths in 2011, a first in two decades. The number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases also plummeted from about 9,154 in 2010 to 2,795 in 2011, according to the California Department of Public Health.
Babies often get pertussis from parents and others who have been misdiagnosed as having asthma or bronchitis, Cherry said. So in their vaccination efforts, state and local health departments focused on vaccinating people who were around infants, including pregnant and postpartum mothers, grandparents and older siblings.
The state also passed a law in 2010 requiring the immunization of students entering grades 7 to 12. Most children are vaccinated for pertussis, but it wanes after about five years. The vaccine is included in the DTaP inoculation, which also protects against tetanus and diphtheria.
Credit: Tim Farley (@krelnik) via Twitter
This just goes to show you that vaccinations DOES work.