Monterey County Health Officer Urges Residents to Get Vaccinated to Combat Whooping Cough

After the state officially declared it an epidemic, Monterey County’s health officer is also stepping up to warn residents of the county to get vaccinated in order to prevent whooping cough.

Three babies have died in the state because of whooping cough, and over 4,500 cases have been reported throughout the state recently. 72 of those cases were centered in Monterey County. Last year, Monterey County only had 10 cases during the same time period. 

Ed Moreno, Monterey County’s health officer and director of public health said that the county usually sees an increase in whooping cough every few years because the vaccine can wear off, meaning someone that has been vaccinated years ago can still be infected with the disease.

Moreno also said the disease is especially dangerous to babies, because infants are the most likely to be infected, and it can lead to episodes where the baby is unable to breathe.

Moreno stated that approximately nine percent of the children diagnosed with whooping cough were never vaccinated, meaning a large majority of the children falling ill were vaccinated at some point.

To combat the disease, Moreno is urging women to get vaccinated for each pregnancy during their third trimester. This will lead to antibodies that will be transmitted to their babies, causing them to be born immunized.

Read more about the health officer’s statement here.