L.A. Private School Hit by Whooping Cough Outbreak

At least 30 students at Harvard-Westlake School in Studio City, California have contracted Whooping Cough, a highly contagious respiratory infection that can be deadly for unvaccinated infants and young children.

The rash of reports is part of a larger outbreak affecting Los Angeles County. County health officials recently sent out an advisory to physicians warning of a cluster of 50 confirmed cases in the region.

Whooping Cough, also known as Pertussis, is largely preventable by vaccine. Effectiveness depends on when the shot was received, with a 70% prevention rate in the first year and 40% four years after. Children are required to have the booster shot before they enter the 7th grade.

It’s not clear how many Harvard-Westlake students have been vaccinated against the illness, as the school has not released 7th grade vaccination data for the 2017-18 school year. In the past, the school — which has a student body of around 1,600 — boasted vaccination rates of around 98%.



Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 21:15

For most kids, animal dissection is the part of science class that evokes an immediate sense of dread. State law even allows students to opt out of the practice if they morally object.