Four new cases of pertussis have been reported at four different school sites in the county, officials from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) announced Friday.
HHSA officials say these recent cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, bring the total to 66 cases in the county so far in 2013.
Last year, there were 165 cases reported for all of 2012. In 2010, health officials say a record 1,144 cases of pertussis were reported in San Diego County.
“We are seeing far fewer cases here than we did in 2010, but these ill students are a reminder that whooping cough has not gone away,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., county public health officer.
Among the new pertussis cases reported this week is an 8-year-old student who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Rancho De La Nacion School in National City. Another new case involves a 14-year-old unimmunized student that attends Correia Middle School near Point Loma.
A 15-year-old who was immunized and attends San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas also has pertussis, as well as a 17-year-old who was up-to-date on immunizations and attends Patrick Henry High School near the San Carlos and Del Cerro area.
Although health officials say infants under one year old are especially vulnerable to whooping cough, anyone can get the disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), children should get doses of the DtaP vaccine at the ages of two months, four months, six months, 15 to 18 months and four to six years. The CDC also recommends that preteens and adults get a Tdap booster shot.
Health officials say pertussis symptoms include a cough and runny rose for one or two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound. A mild fever may also arise.
The disease is treatable with antibiotics.
For more information about whooping cough and local vaccination clinics, visit this website or call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966.