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Whooping Cough
California's pertussis epidemic escalates, health officials report

California's pertussis epidemic has escalated, state health officials said Friday, with 4,558 cases reported this year as of Tuesday — 1,100 of those in the last two weeks. "We are off to a really bad start in 2014," Dr. Gil Chavez, state epidemiologist with the California Department of Public Health, said during a phone call with reporters Friday. Chavez delivered his comments as the health department released a report summarizing the latest data on this year's epidemic of pertussis, or whooping cough. Of this year's cases thus far, 3,614, or 84%, have occurred in patients 18 or younger. Out of 142 illnesses that required hospitalization, 89, or 63%, were in infants 4 months or younger....

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