An 8-year-old who was up-to-date with immunizations and attended the Rancho Family YMCA in Rancho Penasquitos is among the latest children to contract pertussis (or whooping cough) in San Diego County’s largest ever outbreak of the contagious disease, according to County Health and Human Services Agency officials.

Previously a 10-year-old who was not up-to-date with immunizations and attended Adobe Bluffs Elementary Extended Studies Services, located in the Poway Unified School District at 8707 Adobe Bluffs Drive, also was diagnosed in the 92129 Zip Code.

This week the number of pertussis cases reported in San Diego County climbed to 384 in 2010, surpassing the previous high of 371 cases in 2005.  As part of its continuing efforts to control the whooping cough 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.

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.  

For more information about whooping cough, please call the HHSA Immunization Branch toll-free at (866) 358-2966, or visit the web site at www.sdiz.org.

Vaccine locations    

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

Sundays

Northgate Market, 2909 Coronado Avenue, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1410 South 43rd Street, San Diego

Northgate Market, 1058 3rd Avenue, Chula Vista

Northgate Market, 1346 South Mission Road, Fallbrook

Northgate Market, 1150 East Vista Way, Vista

Northgate Market, 606 North Escondido, Escondido