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Del Norte K.O.'s Whooping Cough

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, August 13, 2010
When Pertusiss epidemics are plotted on a graph, they often make a bell shape. This was true in Del Norte. As the bell shape began to curve dramatically upwards, health officials there decided to take aggressive action. They notified the public, encouraged vaccinations. Yet, perhaps most importantly, began treating suspected pertussis cases before test results confirmed that diagnoses. Public Health officer, Dr. Thomas Martinelli orchestrated the plan, and he says other California counties, even much larger ones, could see similar benefits by following Del Norte' strategy.

"Get the word out as quickly as you can, and make sure everybody is on the same page in terms of what should be done, what people should be looking for, and how it should be properly treated," Martinelli says.

Del Norte now has no reported cases. That stands in contrast to other counties, like Yolo, Los Angeles and Riverside. State health officials believe infection rates are much higher than what is being reported.
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