SAN DIEGO– Health and Human Services Agency is reporting new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, at three school sites where students and staff may have been exposed.
The new pertussis cases reported this week are:
- A 10-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends R. Roger Rowe Elementary and Middle School in the Rancho Sante Fe School District. Contact: Cindy Schaub (858) 756-1141, ext. 115.
- An 11-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Solana Beach Elementary School in the Solana Beach School District. Contact: Nancy Lynch (858) 794-7104.
- A 13-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Cesar Chavez Middle School in the Oceanside Unified School District. Contact: Cheri Sanders (760) 966-7802.
The recent cases bring the total to 114 in the county so far this year. There were 165 cases reported in 2012, with 81 cases at this same time last year.
“With children headed back to school, we want to remind parents to make sure their children have the necessary vaccinations including the recommended doses of pertussis vaccine,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get doses of DTaP 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 Tdap booster. The ultimate goal is to prevent deaths that can result as a complication of pertussis. Infants under one year old are especially vulnerable.
Parents can obtain the 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 no cost.
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. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.
For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the Health and Human Service Agency Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit www.sdiz.org.