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The Real Scoop on California Whooping Cough -- Using Fear and Prejudice to Attack Vaccine Exemption

Inaccurate and misleading information about B. pertussis whooping cough and the pertussis vaccine is being spread by the very people who should know better – medical doctors and public health officials.

High-profile physicians such as NBC's chief medical editor Dr. Nancy Snyderman are saying at least 1,500 cases of whooping cough have occurred already this year, and they are accusing parents of unvaccinated children of causing the deaths of six California infants, who reportedly died from complications of B. pertussis whooping cough.

But according to Barbara Loe Fisher, co-founder and president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a quick fact check reveals that both California health officials and Snyderman have not been entirely honest with the people.

The state's numbers don't add up with the CDC's, Fisher says – and when disease incidence statistics publicized by state health departments do not match those published by federal health agencies, there is something wrong. Fisher thinks it's time for California health officials to fully disclose complete details of the 1,500 whooping cough cases they allege have occurred, and to disclose exactly how many cases were lab confirmed, as well as how many involved already-vaccinated individuals.

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