Three New Whooping Cough Cases Reported

Compared to the 2010 numbers, the county is seeing fewer cases of pertussis according to county health officials.

By R. Stickney
|  Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011  |  Updated 12:20 PM PDT
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Three New Whooping Cough Cases Reported

NBCNewYork

The whooping cough vaccine may be in high demand this year.

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San Diego County has three new cases of whooping cough bringing the total number of cases this year to 405.

Health experts said a 13-year-old Innovation Middle School student contracted pertussis even though the teenager was up-to-date with immunizations.

A 3-year-old student who was up-to-date with immunizations contracted pertussis. The child attends Coast Kids Preschool in Carlsbad.

Also, a 6-year-old student at Willow Elementary in San Ysidro reported having whooping cough. The child was due for another immunication according to the health department.

Compared to the 2010 numbers, the county is seeing fewer cases of pertussis according to county health officials.

Last year, 1144 cases were reported along with the deaths of two infants.

The county's health department is encouraging parents to make sure children of school age are getting vaccinated.

Two children from different schools, who were both vaccinated, have contracted whooping cough, according to county health officials.

“Immunization is the best defense against whooping cough,” Eric McDonald, M.D., M.P.H., Deputy County Public Health Officer said after a previous whooping cough release.

“It is very important to stay up to date with regular immunizations."

About 20 percent of those vaccinated can still contract whooping cough, but their symptoms are far less severe, according to health officials.

"Although there is a small chance a vaccinated child may still get pertussis, symptoms are likely to be milder compared to an unvaccinated child,” McDonald said.

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.

Students in grades seven through 12 are required by state law to get the Tdap booster shot before they can attend classes.

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