County reports significant drop in whooping cough cases

San Diego County has passed the 400 mark for pertussis cases in 2011, but that’s fewer than half the number of cases reported last year at this time, according to San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency officials.

While new cases are being reported, the number of cases for the past two months is similar to 2009.

Two new cases this week boost the year’s total to 401, compared to the 810 cases reported through the end of October 2010. Last year a record 1,144 cases were reported in San Diego County, including two infant deaths.

“Regular childhood immunizations are key to protecting your children and others from pertussis,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer. “Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease which can be deadly to infants who are unvaccinated or not completely vaccinated due to their age. Infants typically contract pertussis from household members including family or caretakers.”

Parents can get the Tdap booster shot for their children through their primary care physician. Students who are not covered by a medical insurance plan can obtain the shot from a local retail pharmacy for a fee, or from a county public health center.

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 HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit

Related posts:

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  2. Immunizations offered at county office
  3. PPH flu shot clinic comes to Ramona Nov. 3
  4. Free Tdap vaccinations on Wednesday
  5. County kicks off annual flu vaccination campaign

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Nov 18 2011. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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