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25-Day-Old Baby Dies From Pertussis in Santa Barbara County

Phillip Moore is the father of a one-year-old. He told KCOY/KEYT’s Cory James the news of the 25-day-old baby that died from pertussis also known as the whooping cough saddens him.

“It’s heartbreaking, devastating, and the last thing you would ever want to go through,” Moore said.

Pertussis is a contagious infection that is airborne and affects the respiratory system.

Health experts said when found in older children or adults, pertussis typically is just a bad cough that continues for a while. However, when found in infants, it usually turns fatal.

Barbara Brown-Ramirez is a pediatric nurse practitioner in Santa Maria.
She said pertussis is preventable through vaccination but expressed some parents do not believe having it done is necessary.

“This is tremendously frustrating because we can give them all the information as possible and they may still choose not to vaccinate,” stated Brown- Ramirez.

Since 2011, the number of pertussis cases in Santa Barbara County have gone from 18 to 113.

County officials are urging parents who are around young children not able to get the vaccine as well as pregnant women during their third trimester to take preventive measures “because of the risk pertussis has.”

The recent death is the first in Santa Barbara County history and the second in the state of California for 2014.

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