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Whooping Cough Blamed In Death Of S.D. Infant

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Video Transcript:

WHOOPING COUGH HAS BECOME AN EPIDEMIC IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA. JUST THIS WEEK IT HAS CLAIMED THE LIFE OF A NEWBORN, THE 7th BABY TO DIE IN THE STATE THIS YEAR. JOINING ME TO EXPLAIN WHAT IS GOING ON IS KPBS INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER. WHY ARE WE SEEING SO MANY CASES? FIRST OF ALL THIS IS A CYCLICAL DISEASE. IT TENDS TO HAPPEN EVERY 5 YEARS. THERE IS RESEARCH OUT THERE RIGHT NOW THAT SUGGESTS PERHAPS THIS VACCINE IS LOSING A LITTLE BIT OF BUNCH. THE BACTERIA CAUSING THE ILLNESS MAY BE MUTATING. THE VACCINE ISN'T 100% EFFECTIVE. AND THIRDLY, A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE FORGOTTEN ABOUT THIS DISEASE. THEY DON'T REALIZE THAT AS YOUR CHILDREN GET OLDER THEY NEED BOOSTERS. IMMUNITY DOES NOT LAST A LIFETIME. YOU NEED A BOOSTER SHOT. WHO IS MOST ATT RISK? REALLY IT IS BABIES. THEY CAN'T BE FULLY IMMUNIZED UNTIL THEY ARE SIX MONTHS OLD. I SPOKE WITH A DOCTOR ABOUT THAT ISSUE. I'LL JUST SAY THAT THE REASON WE ARE IN SORT OF AN URGENT PUBLIC HEALTH SITUATION RIGHT NOW IS THAT SEVEN INFANTS HAVE DIED IN CALIFORNIA SINCE JANUARY OF 2010. WHILE IT IS ALWAYS A TRAGEDY WHEN AN INFANT DIED, THE FACT THAT THEY ARE DYING FROM A VACCINE PREVENTABLE ILLNESS, WE COULD KEEP THEM FROM DYING, WE NEED TO ADDRESS THIS AT EVERY LEVEL WE CAN. YOU TALKED ABOUT BOOSTER SHOTS. HOW OFTEN DO YOU NEED THEM? IF YOU DON'T HAVE IT WHAT DO YOU DO? RIGHT NOW MOST PARENTS KNOW THAT THEIR CHILDREN UNDER SIX NEED FIVE DOSES OF THIS VACCINE. NOW THERE IS RECOMMENDATION SAYING MIDDLE SCHOOL AGED KIDS SHOULD RECEIVE A BOOSTER. THE STATE LEGISLATURE IS LOOKING AT A BILL THAT WOULD ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. FOR ADULTS A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW WHAT A TETANUS SHOT IS. THAT IS ACTUALLY A WHOOPING COUGH BOOSTER. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

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