SAN DIEGO–Twelve more cases of pertussis (whooping cough) where others may have been exposed have been reported to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency this week.
Pertussis cases now total 352 in the region this year. In 2013, there were only 59 reported cases at this point and 430 cases total cases for the year. There was a high of 1,179 cases reported in 2010.
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 lessen the severity of symptoms and prevent the spread of disease to others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following vaccination schedule:
· Young children need five doses of DTaP by kindergarten: at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.
· All students entering 7th grade need proof of a whooping cough booster immunization (Tdap).
· A Tdap booster is recommended for pregnant women during their third trimester of each pregnancy, even if they got a booster before becoming pregnant.
· One dose of Tdap is recommended for adults 19 years of age and older who did not get Tdap as an adolescent.
Parents can obtain the DTaP vaccine series and the Tdap booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physicians. Local retail pharmacies offer vaccinations for a fee, and anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a County Public Health Center at minimal or no cost.
For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit www.sdiz.org.