LOS ANGELES (AP) — More than 5,270 cases of whooping cough have been reported in California’s growing epidemic, which has killed nine babies this year.

This week’s report from the California Department of Public Health finds 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 number of infections every five years. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, making it a challenge to diagnose. A persistent cough that lasts weeks is the tell-tale symptom of the illness, which is also known as pertussis.

The bacterial infection tends to peak during summer months, but reporting lags make it difficult to determine if the peak has passed.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (2)
  1. rjsmitty says:

    This is one of the reasons that legal immigrants get screened and tested for these , so we can prevent the outbreak of said diseases… Oh Ya, news flash California is not just the only state all boarder states have been hit with this ……

  2. Sandi Miller says:

    I’m one of the unlucky adults that got it-even tho I had the vaccine as a child. My Dr. never told me I could get a booster–This is the most “GODAWFUL” disease ever!!!!!!!! You feel like you are drowning and can’t catch your breath several times an hour when you cough!! It’s HORRIBLE!!!! IT’s been 2 1/2 months and I still cough pretty bad at night. It’s also called the 100 day cough. GET THE VACCINE PEOPLE!!!

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