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Study identifies infants at highest risk of death from pertussis

A study released today from the upcoming issue of the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society (JPIDS) found that taking early and repeated white blood cell counts (WBC) is critical in determining whether infants have pertussis and which of those children are at highest risk of death from the disease.

In 2010, California reported its highest pertussis rates in 60 years. Murray, et al.'s retrospective study used medical records from five Southern California Pediatric Intensive Care Units between September 2009 and June 2011. Of the 31 infants studied, eight comprised a group considered to have more severe infections, which included suffering from pulmonary hypertension and death from the pertussis.

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