Jan 14, 2015 9:30 AM
SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (AP) - A newborn baby has died from whooping cough in Southern California - the fourth death in a year as the state deals with an epidemic.
The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced the death Tuesday. It says the baby was 25 days old, caught the bacterial infection last year and died this month.
The state Department of Public Health says three other infants died last year, including two who caught the illness in 2013.
The infection causes uncontrollable, violent coughing.
State health officials have recorded 10,831 cases that were contracted in 2014. It's the worst epidemic to hit the state in seven decades.
Authorities attribute the increase to better detection and to the use of new vaccines that have fewer side effects but also don't protect as long.
1 day ago