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Hispanic Health News

California’s Latino Community Hard-hit by Whooping Cough Outbreak

As of last month the state of California is reporting 6,257 cases of whooping cough, officially known as pertussis, with 10 related infant deaths.  This is a record number and beats the record set in 1950 of 6,613.

The Latino community especially infant Latinos have been disproportionately effected where 9 out of 10 infants that have died were Hispanic.  Furthermore, 76 percent of all infants that were hospitalized with the cough were Hispanic.

Infants are especially susceptible because the whooping cough vaccine cannot be given until a child is 2 months old.

Latino infants appear to be more vulnerable to this outbreak because of the large number of relatives they tend to live with.  The only way for an infant to avoid the whooping cough is to avoid unvaccinated adults including family members.