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Whooping Cough Cases On The Rise In Long Beach

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LONG BEACH (CBSLA.com) —  Health officials are encouraging Long Beach residents to get immunizations for whooping cough after a spike in cases across the city.

Forty-two confirmed cases of the highly contagious disease, technically known as pertussis, have been reported in Long Beach this year, the majority of which involve school-age children.

While there have been no deaths, Long Beach health officer Mitchell Kushner said Tuesday immunizations can prevent the illness from further spreading.

“A recent rise in pertussis in the City of Long Beach serves as a reminder that all age groups need to be properly immunized against this highly contagious disease,” Kushner said.

Fifteen cases were reported in Long Beach last year, up from 10 in 2012, according to Kushner.

“I think that persistent cough this year needs to be checked out and diagnosed and they need to see their providers to make sure,” he said.

A typical case of whooping cough in a child or adult starts with a cough and runny nose lasting up to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits. Symptoms in young infants may be more variable and severe.

Typically symptoms in young infants include intense coughing accompanied by a whooping sound and vomiting after coughing.

Complications can include pneumonia, seizures and in rare cases, death.

If you suspect that you or your child may have whooping cough, contact your doctor right away.

For more information about whooping cough, visit the LBDHHS website or dial (562) 570-4302.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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