Santa Barbara infant dies from whooping cough

January 15, 2015

medA newborn baby died last month from whooping cough in Santa Barbara — the second death in a year as California deals with an epidemic.

The 25-day-old infant became ill in December and died shortly afterwards. California health officials recorded 10,831 cases in 2014.

Whooping cough causes uncontrollable, violent coughing.

Pertussis is cyclical and peaks every 3 to 5 years. Over the past three years, San Luis Obispo County has had the following number of pertussis cases:

2012 – 14 cases
2013 – 17 cases
2014 – 43 cases



  1. Citizen says:

    We are having another pertussis epidemic because the new vaccine is not long lasting. The California State Health Department is silent about this, but the CDCs are working on a new vaccine and have openly discussed the problem. That is why booster shots are recommended for kids and adults, but the effectiveness of the booster shots wanes dramatically after a year or two.

    Of course, it doesn’t help when some people opt out of vaccinations, and it doesn’t help when infected and unvaccinated people come freely across the border into our communities from other countries.

    Please notice that the County Health Departments are not keeping us informed and when they are finally forced to notify the public, the notifications are so general as to be ineffective in helping people avoid the disease. In fact, the SLO County Health Department does not notify people when they may have been exposed to pertussis. It’s up to the individual to notify their church or their child’s school, etc. There is no reason why the Santa Barbara County Health Department could not identify the city; it makes a difference to people in the South County if pertussis is prevalent in Santa Maria or in Ventura.

    Measles is a different story. Cases are usually tracked to unvaccinated US citizens who travel to other countries having a measles outbreak. In the old days, the CDC would restrict unvaccinated people from traveling to a country with a disease outbreak requiring proof of vaccinations on their passport.

    Now both the CDCs and the California State Health Department consider “what is politically correct” above our health. They have become worthless in keeping infectious diseases out of the US. The only reason we have not experienced a polio outbreak is because countries with polio are restricting people from leaving their country without proof of vaccination.

    (0) 2 Total Votes - 1 up - 1 down
  2. ToHellinaHandBasket says:

    Blessings to the family of this little one. God bless and comfort you. But know that your little one is in the arms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

    Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

    (3) 9 Total Votes - 6 up - 3 down
  3. CentralcoastRN says:

    This is such a very sad thing to see happening. In the US, there is simply no excuse for preventable diseases like Pertussis to be causing death. Local health departments offer this vaccine for little to no cost to the Public. Medi-cal recipients can get the vaccination for FREE.

    Most of today’s vaccines do not contain Thimerisol (mercury), very little preservative is in most vaccines, and some are even preservative free. Most Americans are exposed to more Mercury from our environment, our food every day just by existing on this planet. As for preservatives…. are you kidding me? There are more toxins, pesticides, additives sprayed on everyday foods than a person will get from vaccinations.

    I can tell you from Professional experience that no matter how many facts, articles, studies, statistics I give out to people who are “anti-vaxx”, they will not budge. Their mind is made up. This is their right, and I respect that. I also respect the right of other parents, schools, and places where groups of kids/adults congregate to exclude the non-vaxxed upon times where an outbreak has been identified.

    For herd immunity to work with maximum effectiveness, 95% of the “herd” needs to be vaccinated. As of April 2014, SLO County had over 8% of kindergartners not vaccinated (the State average is 3.15%). With people in the US so mobile, the “herd” is an ever changing group. This is why vaccination is important, so Americans are safe whereever they travel, and so that diseases are not spread.

    (21) 25 Total Votes - 23 up - 2 down
    • agag1 says:

      Thanks for the info!

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • pasoparent5 says:

      And don’t forget the need for adults to receive a pertussis booster shot.

      A few years ago I contracted whooping cough and coughed for weeks. I also bruised a ribbecause of the non-stop coughing and it was very painful!

      All of this could’ve been avoided if I would’ve gotten a tDap booster.

      (7) 9 Total Votes - 8 up - 1 down
    • LameCommenter says:

      RN says: “Local health departments offer this vaccine for little to no cost to the Public.”

      NOT in my experience just last month. Nail went through a boot at the ranch, been 8 years on my tetanus, my ACA plan I was forced into after 25+ straight years of Blue Cross is a near worthless, high deductible plan. BUT having the ACA O’care plan was ENOUGH to rule me out of free and low cost (state subsidized, the county health girl told me) tetanus booster with public health BECAUSE I was honest and admitted I possessed any form of health insurance. That possession ruled me ineligible for state-funded or assisted vaccination or booster, according to her. I almost went to their north county to lie about possessing insurance but just can’t do such a thing, too stupid and ethical for my own good.

      As I recall they (San Luis Obispo County public health agency on Johnson Street) wanted $ 43 or $ 69 or something for the injection, so in disgust I went to a private pharmacy and got the triple. He ran my Obama card but of course, it reduced the charge not one penny. At least I gave my cash to a functioning independent businessperson.

      I’m surprised that a working RN wouldn’t know the facts about public availability AND restrictions and pricing of DPT injections. If you have insurance, as Barry says you must, you do NOT GET “vaccine for little to no cost to the public” so I beg to differ with you.

      Hopefully you as a medical professional are not similarly uninformed about the problems of Obamacare, tiny provider networks, two months to get a new patient appointment with a rheumatologist in this county, etc. etc.

      (1) 5 Total Votes - 3 up - 2 down
      • agag1 says:

        Yet another Obamacare success story!
        These are always a bit of a reality check, helps take a little wind out of the sails
        of those who claimed this was going to be the best thing since sliced bread.
        Sorry to hear your experience was so lousy,
        but a lot of us could have told you it would be this way,
        and it’s only going to get worse! (Shoulda kept that private insurance,
        if it didn’t get cancelled on you.)

        Since the ACA provides for “free” preventative care,
        it’s a bit surprising that preventing tetanus isn’t covered,
        but hey, there is a billing code for getting bitten by an alligator,
        so at least someone was looking out for us!

        Government is not going to be any better at running healthcare
        than they are at so many other things. Too much $$$ goes to those at the top,
        next to nothing spent where the need is the greatest.

        (-1) 5 Total Votes - 2 up - 3 down
      • CentralcoastRN says:

        I am sorry you had that experience. The rule I have known the Health Dept to follow is to waive the fee if you cannot afford the cost. It is done often enough, as they have some State funded vaccines and are supposed to waive the fee for people who SAY they cannot afford the fee.

        I pride myself on being as well informed and current as possible. If I am uninformed, I will not comment or simply say I don’t know. I’ve been a nurse close to 20 years and I seen a lot. I gain nothing from sharing information except a desire to help.

        Obamacare is a beast that many providers don’t want to deal with. Few primary doctors take it. As for rheumatologists, I believe Dr. EIBSCHUTZ is the only one in SLO, so it takes a lot of patients tine to get in.

        I see frustrated people every day and can only try and help. I wish you health and prosperity.

        (2) 2 Total Votes - 2 up - 0 down
  4. agag1 says:

    Heard recently that vaccination rates have increased recently.
    Let’s hope the trend continues.
    This did not have to happen.

    (10) 14 Total Votes - 12 up - 2 down
    • CentralcoastRN says:

      You are correct.

      Data from the CA dept of Public Health shows that for SLO county, the percentage of non-vaxxed kindergartners entering school was 5.3%, which was down from 8.26 percent for the 2013-20114 year.

      The difference has been attributed to an immunization law, which now says that parents “opting out” of immunizations for their kids must first have their pediatrician or family doctor sign the form. The form indicates that the doctor has fully informed parents of the risks of not vaccinating, and the parents still are refusing to vaccinate.

      (12) 12 Total Votes - 12 up - 0 down
  5. Rich in MB says:

    For the “I don’t believe in Vaccination” folks out there….it’s time to wake up, put down the government conspiracy theories and get your children vaccinated.

    (20) 32 Total Votes - 26 up - 6 down

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