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County Breaks Record for Whooping Cough Cases

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Child health


August 18, 2010

The number of pertussis cases reported in San Diego County has climbed to 384 in 2010, surpassing the previous high of 371 cases in 2005, according to County Health and Human Services Agency officials.

As part of its continuing efforts to control the whooping cough (as pertussis is commonly called) epidemic in California, the County is holding vaccination clinics on weekends at Northgate Markets and the San Ysidro Port of Entry. (See schedule below.)

“We are continuing our efforts to vaccinate San Diego County residents, put health care professionals on watch and educate the public,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We are holding vaccination clinics at Northgate Markets and San Ysidro because of the need to reach our Latino residents. All eight deaths from pertussis in California have been Latino infants.”

The clinics at the six Northgate Markets locations will be held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The San Ysidro Port of Entry clinic will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinics are scheduled to continue on weekends until Sept. 26, based on vaccine availability. County residents are encouraged to continue going to their private health care provider. Vaccines are available at County Public Health Centers for those with no primary care provider.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get one dose of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.

The CDC also recommends that children receive a booster shot of Tdap vaccine at 10-11 yrs. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends an adolescent-adult pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy; and other people, including household contacts, caregivers, and health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.

Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.

Hear what whooping cough sounds likeA typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.  

For more information about whooping cough, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch toll-free at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at


Vaccine locations    

The locations and dates for the vaccination clinics (all are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 26, subject to vaccine availability):


San Ysidro Port of Entry, 720 East San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego


Northgate Market, 2909 Coronado Avenue, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1410 South 43rd Street, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1058 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista

Northgate Market, 1346 South Mission Road, Fallbrook

Northgate Market, 1150 East Vista Way, Vista

Northgate Market, 606 North Escondido, Escondido


New Cases

This week’s new pertussis cases where there is a potential for public exposure are:

  • A 6-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attended the Girl Scouts of San Diego-Imperial County Smores Day Camp from Aug. 2-6. 
  • An 8-year-old who was up-to-date with immunizations and attended the Rancho Family YMCA in Rancho Penasquitos. 
  • A 9-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attended TRC Gymnastics in Solana Beach. The child last attended on Aug 9. 
  • An 11-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attended Tiffany Elementary School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. 
  • A 12-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attended a day camp from July 19-23 at the Salvation Army Kroc Center in San Diego. 
  • A 17-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attended Charter School of San Diego, Paradise Hills location. 

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