Pertussis Epidemic affecting California and much of the US
Another day, another vaccine-preventable illness is on the rise. I described the current measles outbreak in an earlier post , and so that we do not run of out diseases to discuss, a new one has recently captured media attention. So far in 2014, 3,498 cases of Whooping Cough, or Pertussis, have been reported in California – more than all that were reported in 2013, Nationally, 24% more cases have been reported than in January to April 2013. Pertussis outbreaks occur cyclically, peaking every 3-5 years, with the last peak in 2010. A vaccine-preventable disease, Pertussis infection begins as a cold-like illness associated with mild cough and fever. Within 1-2 weeks, however, the severe, characteristic cough begins and can continue for weeks. Infants, however, may not cough, but may suffer from dangerous fits of apnea, or pauses in breathing. In vaccinated children the symptoms’ duration and severity is lessened. The CDC’s website further describes the disease characteristics.
On Thursday May 15th, the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) was called to respond to a 10,000 gallon crude oil spill at 5175 W San Fernando Road after an above-ground pipeline break that sprayed oil 20 feet into the air and onto the neighboring businesses, while fumes spread for miles.
LAFD Hazardous Materials (HAZ-MAT) teams worked to contain the runoff using sand from a local concrete company and built a 2.5ft high x 30ft wide lagoon of oil that was then suctioned off the road by vacuum trucks. Absorbents were used to soak up the remaining crude oil, and the asphalt and building were given a power-soak with high pressure water and soap solution. Luckily, no oil entered the L.A. River storm drains.