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Infant at Olivenhain Country Preschool Contracts Whooping Cough

The total number of confirmed cases so far this year in San Diego County was 139, more than 100 cases higher than the number of pertussis cases at this date a year ago.

Patch file photo.
Patch file photo.

Five children who were up to date on their vaccinations have come down with pertussis recently in San Diego County and county health officials worried Friday that the contagion of "whooping cough" will spread.

The total number of confirmed cases so far this year in San Diego County was 139, more than 100 cases higher than the number of pertussis cases at this date a year ago, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

Those sickened include an infant at the Naval Air Station North Island Child Development Center; an infant at Olivenhain Country Preschool in Encinitas; a 15-year-old student at Steele Canyon High School in Spring Valley; and 15-year-old students at James Madison University City high schools, both in San Diego.

All were up-to-date for their age on immunizations, according to the county.

"Pertussis continues to infect infants and children throughout San Diego County and it is important that they, as well as their caretakers and household contacts, obtain the recommended vaccines," county Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten said.

A typical case of the illness starts with a cough and runny nose for a week or two, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. Fever, if present, is usually mild.

Antibiotics can prevent spreading the disease to others and can lessen the severity of symptoms, according to county health officials.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get doses of the vaccine at the 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 booster.

Infants younger than 12 months old are especially vulnerable because they do not have the full five-dose series of pertussis vaccinations.

The agency said parents can obtain the vaccine series and the booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physicians, or for a fee at a retail pharmacy. Anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a County Public Health Center at little or no cost.

Information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics can be obtained by calling the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or online at www.sdiz.org.

—City News Service

Jay Berman March 23, 2014 at 01:22 PM
We had this defeated as well as mumps and measles that are all starting to come back because of bone headed parents who refuse to immunize ... it works and everyone needs to be immunized for it to continue to work ...
Katydid March 24, 2014 at 01:33 PM
Jay - "Five children who were up to date on their vaccinations have come down with pertussis recently in San Diego County" So, what is the point, especially with people coming in from other countries unchecked bringing back diseases that were essentially eradicated?
Jay Berman March 25, 2014 at 12:18 PM
Everyone needs to be vaccinated. You can still get the disease even if you are vaccinated especially very young who may have not established the immunity. I'm sure a lot of the disease IS coming across our porous borders but more and more parents are refusing to vaccinate based on misinformation .. study after study has ruled out autism and other problems due to vaccines. Thimerosal has been removed from most vaccines years ago even though there is nothing wrong with it ..

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