A third baby has died of whooping cough in Los Angeles County, bringing the total to six deaths this year in California.
Health officials on Tuesday did not immediately have further details about the death.
Whooping cough has become an epidemic in California, which has recorded about 1,500 cases through July 13. That’s a fivefold increase over the same period last year.
The five previous deaths involved Latino babies under 3 months of age who were too young to be immunized.
As of 15th of July, 49 cases of Whooping Cough were reported in Riverside County. There have only been 7 cases in Eastern Riverside County which includes the Coachella Valley and Blythe, according to the Riverside County Department of Health, and none of them was fatal.
At the Joslyn Senior Center in Palm Desert, the whooping cough outbreak has become a topic of conversation and the center plans to send out e-mail blasts urging its seniors to not take any chances.
“Always we’re concerned about seniors who might have an under lying health condition that would make it really important for them to get a vaccination,” said Peter Rittenhouse, the Executive Director of the Joslyn Center.
Riverside County Health leaders said they also say that all county health care facilities are stocked with Whooping Cough vaccines, but still recommend that people at risk call their primary physicians for treatment. They also, recommend that people use standard sanitary practices like wash your hands.