Mar 13, 2015 7:03 PM by News Staff
California is in the midst of the worst whooping cough epidemic to hit the state in seven decades, and the numbers in Tehama County are particularly high.
The average amount of cases per county in 2014 was 29, but in Tehama County health officials reported 38 whooping cough cases.
The rise in cases statewide has led to questions about the effectiveness of the pertussis vaccine.
Doctors emphasize that the inoculation has led to fewer deaths than in the past and in instances where people do get sick, their illnesses aren't as severe. But California officials say the limited protection of the vaccine introduced in the 1990s has led to the rise in cases. Research has shown it doesn't last as long as the one it replaced, and a new study suggests the vaccine may not prevent the spread of the disease.
Whooping cough peaks every three to five years, and California's last epidemic was in 2010. But despite an aggressive public health campaign in response, the current outbreak is worse.
The Associated Press contributed to this report