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New Whooping Cough Cases Reported

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October 13, 2010

Four new pertussis cases where other children may have been exposed were reported this week, according to County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials today.  

There have been 681 confirmed cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, reported in 2010. There were 143 cases in all of 2009 and the previous high for the county was 371 cases in 2005.

 “Seventy-five percent of all pertussis cases have been in children 18 years of age and younger,” said Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We know that 80% of children are infected by a household member, so vaccination of adults and family members of these children is very important.”

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.

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 toll-free at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at                   

New Cases

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

  • A 3-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends First Presbyterian Preschool in Oceanside. 
  • A 12-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Muirlands Middle School in the San Diego Unified School District. 
  • A 13-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends La Presa Middle School in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.
  • A 15-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Francis Parker School in San Diego.