The County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) has confirmed two Encinitas children have been diagnosed with pertussis, a highly contagious respiratory disease commonly called whooping cough.
A 6-year-old Cardiff child was diagnosed last week, and today HHSA officials announced that a 9-year-old student are Park Dale Lane Elementary has also contracted the disease. Both children were up-to-date on their vaccines, according to HHSA.
Last year there were 400 cases reported across the region—and so far this year, there have been 113 cases, including two more recent cases in Lakeside, one in San Diego and one in Escondido. All of those recent cases involved children or teenagers.
A typical case of pertussis starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks. That’s followed by rapid coughing fits that can last for weeks or months. Sometimes these coughing fits end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild.
Antibiotics can be used to treat pertussis, though death can result if there area complications. Infants are especially vulnerable to the disease.
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.
Anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a County Public Health Center at 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.