In 2010, more than 8,000 confirmed, probable and suspect cases of whooping cough were reported in California — the highest rate in 52 years, according to the state Department of Public Health.
Whooping cough, formally called pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial illness that causes severe coughing attacks that can last for months. Health officials have long held that vaccination is the best defense against the disease.
To combat the rising number of cases, a new school immunization law will be in effect for the 2011-12 school year. All California students entering seventh through 12th grades must be immunized with a whooping cough vaccine booster called the T-dap.
Local middle schools and high schools are familiar with the vaccine and are working to help students get their shots.
For information: www.shotsforschool.org.
Dementia questions answered
Jeanette Walker, a registered nurse from Heartland Hospice, will give a talk on late-stage dementia and answer questions during a forum in Capitola.
The talk is designed to create a better understanding of how to anticipate the needs of family members as the disease progresses.
The talk will be from 10:30 a.m. to noon July 21 at Elena Baskin-Live Oak Senior Center, 1777-A Capitola Road, in Capitola.
For information: 464-9982.