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Whooping Cough Cases Still Rising

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November 10, 2010

The number of confirmed pertussis cases in San Diego County for 2010 rose to 822 this week with the addition of 17 new cases where other children may have been exposed to the illness, County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced today.

The County’s cases this year have surpassed a previous record of 371 confirmed cases in 2005. Last year, San Diego County had 143 cases of the disease known also as whooping cough. Two infant deaths were among the County’s cases this year.

“Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable disease,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “Since vaccine effectiveness can fade over time, it is important for adolescents and adults to receive a booster shot, even if they received all of their childhood vaccinations for pertussis. This is especially important for parents and others with regular contact with infants.”

Residents can get vaccinated by visiting their primary care doctor or stopping in an HHSA Public Health Center.

The 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.

A 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 at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at www.sdiz.org.            

New Cases       

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

•         A 10-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Pacific Rim Elementary School in the Carlsbad Unified School District. 

•         A 12-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Twin Peaks Middle School in the Poway Unified School District. 

•         A 12-year-old who was unimmunized and attends Stella Maris Academy in La Jolla. 

•         A 4-year-old who was unimmunized and attends Head Start Carlsbad. 

•         An 11-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Kimball School in the National School District. 

•         A 14-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Calavera Hills Middle School in the Carlsbad Unified School District. 

•         A 14-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Grossmont High School in the Grossmont Union High School District. 

•         A 17-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Torrey Pines High School in the San Dieguito School District. 

•         A 19-month-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Lifetime Montessori in San Diego. 

•         A 16-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Helix Charter High School in La Mesa. 

•         A 9-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Rancho Elementary School in the Cajon Valley Union School District. 

•         A 3-year-old who was unimmunized and attends Blossom Valley Elementary School in the Cajon Valley Union School District. 

•         An 8-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends The Children’s School in La Jolla. 

•         A 4-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Mission Hills Preschool in San Marcos. 

•         A 4-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Palomar College Child Development Center in San Marcos. 

•         A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Head Start Hickory Street in Escondido. 

•         A 10-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Skyline Elementary School in the Solana Beach School District. 


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