With an increase of of only 573 whooping cough cases during the past two weeks in California, it appears the bacterial disease epidemic may be slowing. As of Aug. 18, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) reported a total of 7,503 cases in 2014 to date.

pertussis vaccine
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Photo credit: CDC/ Amanda Mills

The increase of 573 cases is smaller than previous reports where 800 to 1,000 cases and more reported during the every two week update. In June, the CDPH declared a pertussis epidemic in the state.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Pertussis, aka whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breathes which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis most commonly affects infants and young children and can be fatal, especially in babies less than 1 year of age.

The best way to protect against pertussis is immunizationFor more infectious disease news and information, visit and “like” the Infectious Disease News Facebook page