Eight children were exposed to whooping cough at Little Company of Mary Hospital in Torrance when a 7-week-old baby was admitted with a bronchial infection that later turned out to be the more serious illness, hospital officials said.
All the children, ranging in age from a few weeks to 4 years, were in the same room or adjoining rooms. None of the eight have become ill as a result of the exposure last week, spokeswoman Patricia Cagnetto said. The baby recovered and was released from the hospital Tuesday, she said. The other eight children also have been discharged.
Susan Taylor, nurse epidemiologist at Little Company, said pertussis, or whooping cough, has become rare in the United States because of vaccinations but can be serious in young children who have not yet been inoculated. There are about 50 cases annually in Los Angeles County, according to the county Department of Health Services. Taylor said the infant who brought the infection to Little Company was too young to have been vaccinated.