San Diego County
Breaks Record for Pertusssis Cases
.San Diego County Health Department has scheduled Whooping
Cough Vaccination Clinics
......The number of pertussis cases reported in San Diego County now has surpassing 500 and the previous high of 371 cases in 2005, according to County Health and Human Services Agency officials.
Pertussis is a highly contagious disease. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized young infants are particularly vulnerable. Since 1998, more than 80 percent of the infants in California who have died from pertussis have been Hispanic.
The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. The pertussis vaccine is safe for children and adults. Pertussis vaccination begins at two months of age, but young infants are not adequately protected until the initial series of three shots is complete at 6 months of age. The series of shots that most children receive wears off by the time they finish middle school. Neither vaccination nor illness from pertussis provides lifetime immunity.
As part of its continuing efforts to control the whooping cough (as pertussis is commonly called) epidemic in California, the County is holding vaccination clinics on weekends at Northgate Markets and the San Ysidro Port of Entry.
“We are continuing our efforts to vaccinate San Diego County residents, put health care professionals on watch and educate the public,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “We are holding vaccination clinics at Northgate Markets and San Ysidro because of the need to reach our Latino residents. All eight deaths from pertussis in California have been Latino infants.”
The clinics at the six Northgate Markets locations will be held on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The San Ysidro Port of Entry clinic will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The clinics are scheduled to continue on weekends until Sept. 26, based on vaccine availability.
County residents are encouraged to continue going to their private health care provider. Vaccines are available at County Public Health Centers for those with no primary care provider.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children get one dose of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months; 4 months; 6 months; 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.
The CDC also recommends that children receive a booster shot of Tdap vaccine at 10-11 yrs. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends an adolescent-adult pertussis booster vaccine (Tdap) for everyone 10 years or older who has not yet received it, especially women of childbearing age, before, during, or immediately after pregnancy; and other people, including household contacts, caregivers, and health care workers, who have contact with pregnant women or infants.
Children 7-9 years of age who did not receive all of their routine childhood shots are recommended to receive a Tdap booster dose.
Pregnant women may be vaccinated against pertussis before pregnancy, during pregnancy or after giving birth. Fathers may be vaccinated at any time, but preferably before the birth of their baby. CDPH encourages birthing hospitals to implement policies to vaccinate new mothers and fathers before sending newborns home. CDPH is providing vaccine free of charge to hospitals.
A typical case of pertussis in children and adults 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.
The locations and dates for the vaccination clinics (all are held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 26, subject to vaccine availability): Saturdays San Ysidro Port of Entry, 720 East San Ysidro Blvd, San Diego
For more information about whooping cough vaccines, please call County of San Diego HHSA Immunization Branch at (619) 692-8661
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