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Pertussis in California - The New Normal

View the webinar on demand, in MP4 format

(pending review - CME not currently available)

This enduring material has been approved for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™.

Original release date: July 7, 2015.  Most recent review date: July 7, 2017.  Termination date: July 7, 2018.


Download the webinar slides as full page slides or in handout format.

Continuing Medical Education Credit(s)

Physicians – to obtain a CME Certificate, view the webinar and click here.

Other Health Care Providers – to obtain a Certificate of Attendance, view the webinar and click here.

Webinar Overview

This webinar describes the California pertussis epidemic as well as how to manage pertussis cases and prevent transmission. In 2014, more than 11,000 pertussis cases were reported in California, the highest number for over 65 years. In this webinar, Kathleen Winter, Epidemiologist in the Immunization Branch in the California Department of Public Health, explains the epidemic, provides an update on pertussis cases in California, describes risk factors for pertussis and identifies those at highest risk for morbidity. Pediatrician and pertussis expert Dr. James Cherry  discusses the clinical characteristics of pertussis, and the current recommendations for diagnosis, testing and treatment. Both experts discuss frequently asked questions such as the rationale for vaccinating women during each pregnancy and when a pertussis contact can return to school or work. The webinar closes with an open forum for questions from the audience.

Target Audiences

This webinar is designed for pediatric, internal medicine, family practice, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency medicine, and urgent care physicians. Other groups who are encouraged to participate include all primary care health care providers and their office staff who may evaluate a patient presenting with pertussis-like symptoms. 

Learning Objectives

At the conclusion of the webinar, participants will be able to:

  1. List three common clinical characteristics of pertussis
  2. Identify the laboratory tests that are indicated in patients with suspect pertussis
  3. Name two appropriate antibiotic regimens to treat pertussis
  4. State how many days are needed prior to releasing pertussis contacts back to school/work
  5. State the most important reason why third-trimester pregnant women should receive Tdap
  6. Explain why pertussis incidence appears to be increasing in California and in the United States
  7. Describe differences in pertussis morbidity and mortality among infants less than four months of age by race/ethnicity.

Webinar Presenters

Photograph of James Cherry MD

James D. Cherry, MD, MSc

Dr. Cherry is a Distinguished Research Professor of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and member of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. Dr. Cherry received his medical degree from the University of Vermont in 1957 and his M.Sc. degree in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 1983. He was an intern and resident at Boston City Hospital and Kings County Hospital between 1957 and 1960. He served an Infectious Diseases fellowship at the Thorndike Memorial Laboratory and the Harvard Medical Service at Boston City Hospital during 1961 and 1962. He has held faculty positions at the University of Vermont, University of Wisconsin, St. Louis University, and UCLA extending from 1960 to 2013.

Dr. Cherry‘s primary research focus over the past 30 years has been on vaccines and vaccine-preventable diseases, with his recent work focusing largely on the epidemiology of Bordetella pertussis and its prevention through new vaccine strategies. He has received numerous awards, including the Distinguished Physician Award from the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society in 2003 and the UCLA Medical Alumni Associations’ Medical Science award in 2005.

Photograph of Kathleen Winter

Kathleen Winter, MPH

Kathleen Winter is an epidemiologist in the Immunization Branch in the California Department of Public Health. She has worked with the Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Surveillance and Epidemiology Section for the past 9 years and over that time has closely monitored pertussis disease activity and vaccination efforts. She has collaborated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other partners on several studies contributing to the current understanding of pertussis disease epidemiology and vaccine effectiveness. Kathleen is also a fourth-year doctoral student at UC Berkeley studying Epidemiology and plans to conduct her dissertation research on pertussis.

Resources for Further Study

Responses to questions asked by webinar participants.

California Department of Public Health (CDPH) pertussis webpage with information for providers including guidelines for laboratory testing.

More information

For providers visit:

  • LA County DPH Immunization Program provider webpage.
  • CDPH Immunization Program provider webpage.
  • California Vaccine for Children Program - immunization training and resources
  • CME webpage for DPH webinars and articles with free CME, including a webinar on measles.

For patients visit:
  • DPH Immunization Program pertussis website

Accreditation Statement

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is accredited by the Institute for Medical Quality/California Medical Association (IMQ/CMA) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Nurses receive a Certificate of attendance. This activity is designated for 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. According to the California Board of Registered Nursing, the Continuing Medical Education is acceptable for meeting RN continuing education requirements, as long as the course is Category 1, and has been taken within the appropriate time frames.

None of the speakers or planners involved in the planning or creation of this activity disclosed any relevant financial relationships

This activity is offered by an accredited CMA-CME provider and is not commercially supported.

Contact Information

For questions or further information about measles please contact the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Immunization Program by email or by calling 213-351-7800.

For CME questions please email