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Whooping Cough Continues to Spread

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November 18, 2010

Thirteen new cases were reported this week in schools where other children were potentially exposed to pertussis, boosting the number of confirmed cases in the County to 875, County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) said today.

In 2009, San Diego County reported 143 confirmed cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Prior to this year’s cases, which include two infant deaths, the previous record year for cases was 2005 with 371 confirmed cases.

“Vaccinations are the best protection against this highly contagious disease,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. ”However, people can also help to prevent the spread of this illness by covering their coughs and going to see their doctor if they think they might have pertussis.”

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 9-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Mission Estancia Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District. 
  • A 14-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Mt. Carmel High School in the Poway Unified School District. 
  • A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Carmel Mountain Preschool. 
  • A 7-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Ocean Air Elementary School in the Del Mar Union School District. 
  • A 9-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Mission Bay Montessori. 
  • An 8-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Olympic View School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. 
  • A 4-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Mike Choate Center for Early Childhood Education in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District. 
  • A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Encinitas Country Day Preschool. 
  • An 8-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Dingeman Elementary School in the San Diego Unified School District. 
  • A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Redeemer By the Sea Lutheran Preschool in Carlsbad. 
  • A 6-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Solana Highlands Elementary School in the Solana Beach School District. 
  • A 5-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and a 10-year-old who was due for a booster shot who attend Oak Hill Elementary School in the Escondido Union School District.

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