A third death resulting from whooping cough in 2010 was reported Tuesday by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which encouraged vaccinations for those older than 7 who have not been fully immunized, women about to become pregnant, who are pregnant or who just gave birth, and people older than 64.
"This expanded set of recommendations is an appropriate response to the epidemic in Los Angeles County and statewide," said Jonathan Fielding, director of the department. " ... This is a disease that is especially dangerous for infants under six months of age, who are not old enough to have received the number of vaccine doses needed to be protected against whooping cough."
About 289 possible cases of whooping cough cases have been reported -- with 184 confirmed -- so far this year compared to 156 last year, according to the department.
Meanwhile California Watch reported Tuesday that " ... seven of the 12 California counties with the highest whooping cough rates also have above average rates of kindergarten students showing up to school with 'personal-belief' vaccine waivers."
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Whooping cough has been declared an epidemic in California.