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Whooping Cough Cases Continue to Rise

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September 1, 2010

Are you and your child up-do-date with the whooping cough immunizations? There are three ways to get the vaccine to protect yourself and your family from the disease that keeps infecting people in our region.

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is recommending that people with medical coverage go to their private provider to obtain the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine. People with no primary care physician can go to HHSA’s Public Health Centers or to any of the six Northgate Markets or the San Ysidro port of entry to receive protection against the disease.

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.

“The whooping cough epidemic continues,” said Dean Sidelinger, M.D., M.S.Ed., Deputy County Public Health Officer. “It is extremely important for all children and adults to be fully immunized; especially adults who have contact with babies and small children.”

There have been 468 cases reported so far in 2010. There were 143 cases in all of 2009, and the previous high for San Diego County was 371 cases in 2005.

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                   


 Weekend Clinics

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 7-year-old and an 8-year-old who are up-to-date with immunizations and attend Hannalei Elementary School in the Vista Unified School District. 
  • A 7-year-old and a 9-year-old who are up to date with immunizations and attended Adventure Day Camp at Jack’s Pond Recreation Center, which was sponsored by City of San Marcos Community Services. 
  • A 16-year-old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends Vista High School in the Vista Unified School District.
  • A 5-year old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends Boulder Oaks Elementary School in the Alpine School District. 
  • An 11-year-old who is due for the Tdap booster shot and attends Park Dale Lane Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District.
  • An 8-year-old who is up-to-date with immunizations and attends La Costa Heights Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District.
  • A 3-year-old who is not up-to-date with immunizations and attends St. Mark’s Nursery School, a private preschool in San Diego. 
  • A 12-year-old who is due for the Tdap booster shot and attends Aviara Oaks Middle School in the Carlsbad Unified School District.
  • An 11-year-old who was up-to-date with immunizations and attends Hidden Valley Middle School in the Escondido Union School District.

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