Issue Number 42            January 7, 1999

UNPROTECTED PEOPLE: Stories of people who have suffered or died from vaccine-preventable diseases



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The deaths of two infants from pertussis were reported in the "San Francisco Chronicle" on July 2, 1998. The article reports that the pertussis victims were a 2-month-old boy who died on April 4, 1998, and a 2-month-old girl who died one month later.

The newspaper article entitled, "Bay Area Rash of Whooping Cough Cases: Unvaccinated children help spread the disease," leads off by saying, "Whooping cough, the childhood scourge that just won't go away, has increased in worrisome numbers in the San Francisco Bay Area."

At the time of the article's publication (July 2, 1998) there were, according to state epidemiologist Cynthia O'Malley, PhD, 198 cases of whooping cough in California, most of them concentrated in the Bay Area.

The article ends with this powerful statement from Santa Cruz County public health chief Betsy McCarty, RN, MS: "People who think they are doing the right thing are not getting their children vaccinated. They couldn't be more mistaken. This is as important as putting your kid in the car seat, seeing they have enough to eat, and locking up the poisons."

To read the entire article from the San Francisco Chronicle's website, click here:

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IZ Express is supported in part by Grant No. 1NH23IP922654 from CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. Its contents are solely the responsibility of and do not necessarily represent the official views of CDC.

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Editorial Information

  • Editor-in-Chief
    Kelly L. Moore, MD, MPH
  • Managing Editor
    John D. Grabenstein, RPh, PhD
  • Associate Editor
    Sharon G. Humiston, MD, MPH
  • Writer/Publication Coordinator
    Taryn Chapman, MS
    Courtnay Londo, MA
  • Style and Copy Editor
    Marian Deegan, JD
  • Web Edition Managers
    Arkady Shakhnovich
    Jermaine Royes
  • Contributing Writer
    Laurel H. Wood, MPA
  • Technical Reviewer
    Kayla Ohlde

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