Health

Pertussis Immunizations, Booster Shots Protect Children

The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) is reporting six new cases of pertussis at five school sites in the past week potentially exposing other students and staff.

The recent cases bring this year’s case total to 35. There were165 total cases reported in 2012, with 29 cases at this same time last year. There were a record 1,144 cases in 2010.

“This is a reminder that pertussis is always around,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “Even though we aren’t seeing the record numbers of recent years, pertussis is still in our community; we encourage parents to make sure their children are up-to-date with their recommended doses of whooping cough vaccine.”

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 HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit www.sdiz.org.

For more information about whooping cough, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at www.sdiz.org.    

 

The new pertussis cases reported this week are:

 

·         A 4-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends a preschool at Highland Ranch Elementary School in the Poway Unified School District. Contact: Marlene Cowell (858) 521-2704.

 

·         A 7-year-old who was not up-to-date on vaccinations and attends Lakeside Farms Elementary School in the Lakeside Union School District. Contact: David Lorden (619) 390-2600.

 

·         A 12-year-old who was up-to-date on vaccinations and attends Olivenhain Pioneer Elementary School in the Encinitas Union School District. Contact: Liz Wallace (760) 944-4300.

 

·         A 14-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends La Costa Canyon High School in the San Dieguito Union High School District. Contact: Charles Adams (760) 753-6491, ext 5619.

 

·         A 15-year-old was up-to-date on immunizations and attends La Costa Canyon High School in the San Dieguito Union High School District. Contact: Charles Adams (760) 753-6491, ext 5619.

 

·         A 49-year-old whose immunization history is unknown at Woodland Park Middle School in the San Marcos Unified School District. Contact: Bill Singh (760) 752-1221.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tom Christensen is a communications specialist with the County of San Diego Communications Office. Contact