A four-month-old baby diagnosed with whooping cough may have exposed travelers to the highly-contagious illness at the San Diego International Airport, local health officials confirmed Wednesday.
The baby traveled with a parent from San Diego to Norfolk, Va., this past Friday via Lindbergh Field.
According to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA), the baby boy had been seen by medical staff at Rady Children’s Hospital shortly before traveling and hospital tests later confirmed he had pertussis.
The child was up to date with vaccinations for his age, health officials said.
County officials are now working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to notify people who may have been exposed to the respiratory illness at the San Diego Airport.
To date in 2013, health officials say there have been 114 cases of pertussis reported in San Diego County.
Typically, symptoms of pertussis include a cough and runny nose for up to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that may end with a whooping sound. A mild fever may also develop.
Health officials say infants under one year old are especially vulnerable to whooping cough.
The disease is treatable with antibiotics. The CDC recommends children get the DTaP vaccine series at the ages of 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. Preteens and adults should also get a Tdap booster.
Anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get a vaccine from a County Public Health Center at no cost. For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, visit this website or call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966.