A Maricopa County child died recently from pertussis (whooping cough), the first recorded death from this disease in an infant since 2009.
The infant was too young to be vaccinated and more than likely contracted the disease from an adult, according to the Maricopa County Public Health department.
In 2011, nearly 700 cases of whooping cough were reported in Maricopa County, including dozens of infants. This is a 41 percent increase over the previous year and more than double the number of cases reported in 2009.
Dr. Bob England, director of Maricopa County Public Health, wants to remind everyone to stay up-to-date on their vaccinations, especially pertussis since the county’s youngest residents cannot be vaccinated against the disease.
England said everyone around a newborn especially needs to be current on their vaccinations. If you are in need of vaccine, contact your health care provider or visit The Arizona Partnership for Immunization at www.whyimmunize.org.
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