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Whooping cough cases prompt forum

County health officials will hold a special forum for physicians tonight on a disease that's making a big comeback: whooping cough. San Diego County has seen an unprecedented rise in the number of cases. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has the story.

More than 350 San Diegans were stricken with whooping cough last year that's nearly triple the number of cases in 2004.

Dr. Wilma Wooten is the county's deputy health officer. She says whooping cough is highly infectious, and can cause dangerous complications for infants.

Wooten: "They cough so violently, that they throw up, they have convulsions, they bleed in the brain. So it can be a very complicated, serious problem, and children can die from the condition."

Children typically receive a series of five inoculations against whooping cough. But immunity usually wears off at about ten years of age. Dr. Wooten recommends teenagers and adults get a booster shot.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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