Giants Ace Sergio Romo to Pitch Latino Heath Advocacy

Sergio Romo to make his next pitch about Latino health issues
San Francisco Giants closer Sergio Romo's favorite exclamation is "that's what's up." It's a fairly open-ended expression. But, at this very moment, "what's up" is that Romo will be on hand this morning to talk about important health issues affecting Latinos at the Castro-Mission Health Center.

The Latino health event, which starts at 11 a.m., will spotlight whooping cough, diabetes, obesity, and access to healthcare. As the state rolls out its new health insurance plan, Covered California, organizers want to spread the word about the reforms now that more Latinos will qualify for them.

Alongside Romo will be Supervisor David Campos, who noted that in 2010, California experienced an epidemic of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, where 10 infants died, nine of whom were Latino.

"That is why ... I am participating in an outreach event focused on the Latino community -- in order to urge parents and their children to get a Tdap shot to prevent whopping cough," Campos said in an e-mail to SF Weekly. "In fact, I will be getting my own whopping shot vaccine. We can stop another epidemic and save lives. Si se puede!"

Hispanics are twice as likely to get infected compared to non Hispanics. Of all the people hospitalized during the 2010 pertussis epidemic, 80 percent were Latino, said Andrew Resignato, director of San Francisco Immunization Coalition.

The reason for the disproportion is because Latinos live in high-density households, said Resignato, adding that when infants are infected with the cough, the outcomes can be "devastatingly dangerous."

On a lighter note, there will be entertainment, including Zumba dancing, free Giants merchandise, and of course, the headliner: Campos getting his Tdap vaccination.

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