Whooping cough spread slowing

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

The number of whooping cough cases has increased in both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties since the Tuolumne County Public Health Department issued a warning to all public schools in April.

The number of cases is still increasing in Calaveras County, but the rate of spread seems to have slowed in the last month in Tuolumne County.

Meanwhile, the disease has reached epidemic levels in California, the California Department of Health reported earlier this month.

Tuolumne County has now had 10 confirmed cases and several more probable and suspected cases, according to Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp.

Calaveras County, which didn't have any confirmed cases until mid-May, now has eight confirmed cases, according to Public Health Officer Dr. Dean Kelaita.

The number of cases in California this year has already surpassed 2013's total, with 3,400-plus cases by June 10, according to the state Department of Public Health.

The department said infants under 1 have had some of the most cases. Infants under 1 are most vulnerable to the disease, sometimes dying from the symptoms, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Neither Calaveras nor Tuolumne counties have had pertussis deaths this year.

For the full story, see the June 30, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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