Supervisor Janet Nguyen Encourages Whooping Cough Vaccinations for Young Children and Caregivers
(Santa Ana) Supervisor Janet Nguyen and Orange County Health Care Agency officials are encouraging parents to vaccinate their young children for pertussis or whooping cough, which is on the rise in Orange County and throughout the State.
There seems to be a surge in pertussis or whooping cough cases every three to five years in Orange County and 2010 has shown a rise in reported cases. Thirty-one cases were reported through the first 20 weeks of the year, compared to five reported cases for the same time period in 2009.
“Infants are at the most risk and can suffer serious illness or even death,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “It is important for parents of young children to make sure their children get the proper vaccination so this serious bacterial infection doesn’t continue to spread.”
According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), pertussis or whooping cough is a contagious disease that is easily passed from person to person. Babies and small children can cough so much that they are unable to breathe. Also according to the CSPH, studies have shown that half of the infants with pertussis are infected by their parents, particularly their mothers.
The CDPH urges vaccinating parents and caregivers for pertussis before or at the birth of the child as the most important way to protect infants. In addition to the five doses of pertussis vaccine recommended before kindergarten, a booster dose of the vaccine is recommended for all adolescents between 11 and 18 years of age, and for all persons who will have close contact with young infants.
Supervisor Janet Nguyen serves as Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and represents the First District. She also serves as Chair of the OCTA’s Transit Committee. She represents more than 600,000 people, covering the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster and the unincorporated community of Midway City. Orange County ranks sixth in the nation as the most populous county and has the nation’s seventh highest annual budget.