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New Whooping Cough Cases Reported

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March 9, 2011

San Diego County continues to see a high level of pertussis activity. There were four new cases where possible public exposure occurred, the County Health and Human Services Agency reported this week.

Please see second page for school details.

“Pertussis is still very active in our community,” said Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., County Deputy Public Health Officer. “We continue to encourage people to get vaccinated. It’s the best defense we have against spreading this disease.”

There have been 116 confirmed cases of pertussis reported in 2011. The County set a new record with 1,144 cases in 2010.

Residents can get vaccinated at their primary care doctor or at an HHSA Public Health Center if they don’t have a regular healthcare provider.

The California Department of Public Health recommends a 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.

Beginning July 1, all students entering 7th through 12th grades in both public and private schools must show proof that they have had a Tdap booster shot before they can start school. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that children receive a booster shot of Tdap vaccine at 11-12 yrs.

The CDC also 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.

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    

New Cases

This week’s cases are:

•     A 10-month-old who was up-to-date on vaccinations and attends Ocean Shores High School Child Development Center in the Oceanside Unified School District. 

•         A 4-year-old who was up-to-date on vaccinations and attends Raggedy Ann and Andy Preschool in San Marcos. 

•         A 14-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Kearny High School in the San Diego Unified School District. 

•         A 16-year-old who was due for a booster shot and attends Mt. Carmel High School in the Poway Unified School District. 


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