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Local Whooping Cough Cases Triple Last Year's Total

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September 8, 2010

Pertussis cases have continued their steady increase in San Diego County, and now have more than tripled the number of cases from 2009.

The County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials report that there have been 495 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.

Video: Learn about symptoms and prevention of whooping cough.

“We continue to recommend that people with medical coverage go to their private provider to obtain the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.H.S., County Public Health Officer.  “People with no primary care physician can go to HHSA’s Public Health Centers and the county continues to offer weekend vaccination clinics at six Northgate Markets locations and the San Ysidro port of entry.”

The Northgate Markets clinics will be held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinic at the San Ysidro Port of Entry 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 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                   


Vaccination 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 2-year-old with an unknown immunization history that attended Olivehain Country Preschool from Aug. 7 to Aug. 18. The child was diagnosed in Hawaii.
  • A 6-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Carrillo Elementary School in the San Marcos Unified School District. 
  • An 8-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Sweetwater Springs Elementary School in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District. 
  • An 8-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Lemon Avenue Elementary School in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District.
  • A 10-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Ocean View Hills School in the San Ysidro School District. 
  • An 11-year-old was due for a booster shot and attends Flora Vista Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District. 
  • A 33-year-old who was fully immunized and was at the Sharp Rees-Stealy Pediatric Clinic in the Grossmont Medical Plaza in La Mesa. 
  • A 54-year-old with an unknown immunization history that was at the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Outpatient Dialysis Center in Hillcrest.

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