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California whooping cough: 9 dead, infections on rise

LOS ANGELES — State health officials reported Thursday that California is on track to break a 55-year record for whooping cough infections in an epidemic that has already claimed the lives of nine infants. At least 4,017 cases of the highly contagious illness have been reported in California, according to the state. Data from the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control show 11,466 cases nationwide, though the federal numbers are known to lag behind local reporting. Symptoms are similar to the common cold, making it a challenge to diagnose.

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