Orange County baby dies from whooping cough

An Orange County baby died from whooping cough, the first confirmed infant death from the disease since 2018, health officials announced Thursday.

The California Department of Public Health did not release additional information on the circumstances surrounding the child's death.

The CDPH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pregnant women receive the whooping cough booster shot between 27 and 36 weeks, even if previously immunized.

"To give babies the best protection, I urge all pregnant women to get vaccinated against whooping cough as early as possible during the third trimester of every pregnancy," said Dr. Karen Smith, CDPH director and state public health officer. "The best way to prevent whooping cough is by getting vaccinated."

Whooping cough symptoms vary by age, according to the CDPH. With children, the disease typically starts with a runny nose and cough for one to two weeks. The cough then worsens and often results in rapid coughing spells that end with a whooping sound. Infants may not display typical symptoms or have an apparent cough. Parents may notice episodes in which breathing briefly stops and the infant's face turns red or purple. Whooping cough in adults may be a cough that lasts for several weeks.

To find more information about whooping cough, go to cdph.ca.gov/Programs.
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