High Levels of Pertussis in Alameda County
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a contagious disease affecting the lungs. It is caused by a bacteria that can spread when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks near to other people. Pertussis can affect people of all ages but infants younger than 6 months are at greatest risk for severe disease leading to hospitalization and death. The highest rates of pertussis are seen in infants who are too young to have received all their pertussis vaccines, and in teenagers 14 to 17 years old whose pertussis vaccine protection has "worn off".