Sacramento, CA — California health officials are calling on parents to provide booster shots for adolescents to stave off a rise in whooping cough cases.
The state Department of Health Services says 1276 cases have been reported this year, which is almost three times the number for the same time last year.
Statistics show that one third of the cases diagnosed this year have been in infants younger than one year old.
Eighty percent of those cases required hospitalization while 4 resulted in the deaths of babies under one month old.
Officials say most infants are immunized every few months up to one year old, but the immunizations wear off by adolescence.
Officials recommend the use of either of two recently approved vaccines that also protect against tetanus and diphtheria for kids between the ages of ten and 18.