San Diego County has seen more than double the number of pertussis cases this year compared to last, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA).
Nine new instances of whooping cough, which may have left others exposed, brings the county’s total to 895.
Just 120 cases were reported by this time last year, and for the whole of 2013, 431 cases were confirmed.
“The county and state are experiencing an epidemic of pertussis,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., a county public health officer.
She said infants are at the greatest risk for severe illness or death from the disease.
According to the HHSA, the new cases were reported at the following locations, and all but two patients were up-to-date on their immunizations:
- A 7-year-old at Mason Elementary School
- An 8-year-old at Dailard Elementary School
- A 9-year-old who was not up-to-date with immunizations at Indian Hills Camp in Jamul
- A 10-year-old at Normal Heights Elementary School
- An 11-year-old who was not up-to-date with immunizations at Lincoln Acres School
- A 14-year-old at Hillsdale Middle School
- A 15-year-old at San Ysidro High School
- A 16-year-old at Altus Charter School of San Diego and El Cajon Learning Center
- A person at Boys and Girls Clubs of Oceanside
Pertussis begins with a cough and runny nose that progresses after one or two weeks to rapid coughing fits with the characteristic whooping sound.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children get the DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine at 2 months old, 4 months old, 6 months old, 15 to 18 months old and 4 to 6 years old.
Students entering seventh grade are required to show proof they got the Tdap booster shot, and experts say all pregnant women should get the booster in their third trimester.