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The coughs can be violent and uncontrollable; so distinctive it’s been given a common name, whooping cough.

Medically known as pertussis, it’s a growing epidemic in California. Earlier this week Sacramento County Public Health put out a warning. Last year in the county there were 59 reported cases, this year already 69.

Of those patients from this year, one was an employee of Kaiser Permanente South Medical Center. A source told FOX40, the employee is a pediatrician who went to work everyday for three weeks with the disease. The disease can be easily transferred through the air.

Kaiser did confirm there was an employee who was infected, but never described their position at the hospital, citing privacy laws. Also saying the employee could have been infected and didn’t know right away.

“An employee at Kaiser Permanente South Sacramento Medical Center, who had been vaccinated for pertussis two years ago, was recently diagnosed with pertussis.  The Sacramento County Health Department was immediately notified of the case and our infectious disease experts are working in conjunction with county health officials to identify, notify, and perform appropriate testing for any persons who might have been exposed to this disease. ”  Dr. John Belko, our Chief of Infectious Disease

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