California reports 800 new whooping cough cases

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Updated: 6/13/2014 12:49 pm

LOS ANGELES (AP) — State health officials say the number of whooping cough cases in California is now of epidemic proportions.

The California Department of Public Health said in a statement released Friday that more than 800 cases of pertussis have been reported over the past two weeks.

As of June 10, there have been 3,458 cases of whooping cough — more than in all of 2013.

The infection is cyclical and peaks every three to five years. In 2010, a whooping cough epidemic killed 10 infants in the state.

Infants are most susceptible to the disease so parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children as soon as possible. This year two infant deaths have been reported.

Whooping cough begins with cold-like symptoms and can progress to severe coughing fits.

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