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Whooping Cough Cases in SD County Surpass Last Year's Total

Information about whooping cough and vaccination clinics is available at the HHSA Immunization Branch by calling (866) 358-2966, or online at sdiz.org.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

The number of pertussis cases reported in San Diego County since Jan. 1 has surpassed the total for all of last year, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

More than 100 cases of the illness also known as whooping cough have been confirmed recently, bringing this year's count to 454, according to the HHSA. In all of 2013, 431 cases of the illness were reported.

The recent high for a full year was 1,179 cases in 2010.

"This year, a substantial increase in pertussis cases is being reported in San Diego County and throughout California," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Parents, guardians and teachers should be vigilant for symptoms of the disease."

A typical case of pertussis 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.

Antibiotics can prevent spreading the disease to others and can lessen the severity of symptoms, according to health officials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get doses of the vaccine at the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. Health officials also recommend that preteens and adults get a booster.

Infants younger than a year old are especially vulnerable because they do not have the full five-dose series of pertussis vaccinations.

Parents can obtain the vaccine series and the booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physician. Local retail pharmacies offer vaccinations for a fee, and anyone not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a county public health center at minimal or no cost.

Information about whooping cough and vaccination clinics is available at the HHSA Immunization Branch by calling (866) 358-2966, or online at sdiz.org.

—City News Service

Jay Berman May 28, 2014 at 02:30 PM
Due to uncontrolled borders and foolish / selfish parents
David Terrell May 28, 2014 at 03:04 PM
Jay, you seem to have access to more information than the Patch does. I hope you're sharing your data with them. Sounds to me like too many parents are falling for the fear tactics than evidence. Why do people try to scare parents away from making their kids safe? The evidence is that children are safer with the vaccine than without it.
nmlinnen May 28, 2014 at 03:30 PM
The outbreaks are primarily due to introduction of the safer accelular vaccine which is good for only 3 to 5 years. The 7th gr boosters may not be offsetting the cases among vaccinated 11-12 yr olds (vaccinated older youth and adults comprising by far the largest percentage of those affected). "Age distribution of pertussis seems to have shifted toward older children, adolescents and adults in countries with high vaccine coverage,” said Plotkin, emeritus professor of the University of Pennsylvania. It is simplistic and prejudicial to blame only so called foolish parents or immigrants. http://www.healio.com/pediatrics/news/print/infectious-diseases-in-children/%7B13404fa4-f570-4d7f-9e99-9fa5d1f5e7eb%7D/myriad-causes-contri,buted-to-california-pertussis-outbreak

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