Pertussis or whooping cough is a medical condition wherein the body’s respiratory capabilities are diminished due to the irritating effects of the pertussis bacteria toxin and inflammation of the respiratory tract mucosa. A perinneal condition with a previously low prevalence rate; documented cases of pertussis in the month of June 2010 alone have shown a drastic increase in number; especially in the state of California. As of the earlier parts of July 2010; the pertussis situation has reached an epidemic state (Russ, 2010); causing major concern among the public and different health sectors.
Thus; this paper will be dwelling on pertussis or whooping cough; the issues surrounding this disease; and the most recent outbreak experienced by the state of California; more specifically the county of San Luis Obispo. However; discussion of the will not be limited to San Luis Obispo’s situation but can also include elaborations on the whole state’s pertussis condition. Community San Luis Obispo is among the twenty seven counties of the state of California; U. S. It is situated near the sea and is primarily an agricultural community. According to its official site slocity.
org; San Luis Obispo was founded by a missionary, Father Junipero Serra, in 1772; and is among the oldest communities of the state. Father Serra’s Mission was named after the Toulouse, France’s Bishop Saint Louis; whose name became the place’s name, translated in Spanish – San Luis Obispo: Saint Louise the Bishop (San Luis Obispo, 2009). The city consists of around 10. 7 square miles of land located between San Francisco and Los Angesles; eight miles from the Pacific Ocean (San Luis Obispo, 2009).
Demographic and Epidemiological Data According to the U. S. Census Bureau, San Luis Obispo is a county comprised of a population of 270,429 individuals and with a median family household income of $57,628 (San Luis Obispo; 2009). In terms of ethnicicty; the county has a greater percentage of white, non-Hispanic inhabitants (72%); followed by Hispanic or Latin races (22%). The remaining six percent are divided among African-Americans; Alaskan/Native Americans and multiracial inhabitants of the county (San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, 2009).
From the same report; it was recorded that in the year 2008; there were 56. 4 percent live births per 1,000 women ages 14 -55. Also, from the years 2004 to 2006, the county had about 5. 6 infant mortalities per 1,000 live births (San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, 2009). In the report submitted by the San Luis Obispo Health Department; for the year 2008; the following cases of transmitted diseases were recorded: chlamydia (634); gonorrhea (33); syphilis (41); hepatitis A (13); hepatitis B (43); hepatitis C acute (2) and chronic (1132); amoebiasis (1); viral menigitis (22); bacterial meningitis (4); malaria (1); AIDS (9); and tuberculosis (2).
In 2005; 109 cases of pertussis were recorded; followed by 75 cases in 2006; and 16 cases in both 2007 and 2008 (San Luis Obispo Public Health Department, 2009). However; this 2010; a dramatic rise in pertussis cases was documented; from only two cases in 2009 to around 193 cases at the end of June 2010 (State of California, 2010).