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Whooping Cough Cases Spike Across California

LOS ANGELES ( — It's a sound no parent wants to hear — a child with whooping cough struggling to breathe.

KNX1070's Mike Landa reports the number of whooping cough cases statewide increased to more than 1,600 last year — that's 600 more cases than in 2012.

Whooping Cough Cases on the Rise in California

The illness, also known as Pertussis, is a highly contagious, bacterial infection that gives young children uncontrollable coughing fits. Patients often make a deep "whooping" sound when they inhale.

Epidemiologists say whooping cough is on the rise because fewer kids are being vaccinated. California allows parents to exempt their children from public school immunization requirements.

But a new state law says parents must submit a doctor's note, not just personal objections.

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