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California sees most whooping cough cases since 1955

from The Associated Press via The Fresno Bee

More than 5,270 cases of whooping cough have been reported in California's growing epidemic, which has killed nine infants this year. A report from the California Department of Public Health found that the highly contagious illness hasn't infected this many in the state since 1955, when 4,949 cases were reported for the entire year. Whooping cough is a cyclical illness that peaks in the number of infections every five years. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, making it a challenge to diagnose. Next fall, 7th- through 12th grade students in California will be required to receive a whooping cough booster shot before starting school under a state law, health officials said. more

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