Your Family

Jun 10, 2010 7:15 PM by Carina Corral

Central Coast county reports more than 100 cases of whooping cough


100 cases and counting.

A pertussis, or whooping cough, outbreak in San Luis Obispo County shows no signs of slowing.

The numbers are startling when you look at years past. There were just two cases in 2009 and 17 in 2008.

Santa Barbara County is not seeing an outbreak. This year there have been just three cases, there were 35 last year and three the year before.

Statewide, nearly 600 cases have been reported this year alone, that's three times more than last year.
Five infants have died, none locally.

San Luis Obispo County's Public Health Director Penny Borenstein said it is not known what is driving the outbreak, but vaccination is the best way to prevent further spreading.

" We are for someone reason being hit very hard when are neighboring counties are not as of yet and we hope that we can do a good enough job of containing it so they will not be," said Dr. Borenstein.

The majority of cases have been in the school aged population, but there have also been cases of people well into their seniors contracting the disease.

" The most important thing is to protect infants,
they're the ones who can get very sick hospitalized and even die from this disease. For most other people it is just generally a very bad cough," said Dr. Borenstein.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory infection. Symptoms in adolescents and adults range from mild to severe and included cough lasting longer than 2 weeks, increasing in severity, episodes of sudden, severe coughing and vomiting after coughing. The Public Health Department is urging anyone with symptoms to seek attention from a medical provider immediately.

" Vaccination is clearly the most important thing for wide spread community prevention but if you have the signs and symptoms of this disease... it is very important that those individuals get treated with antibiotics that they don't spread it. And also people who have been around and exposed to it by those people should get treated to prevent them from becoming ill," said Dr. Borenstein.

The Public Health Department recommends
that adolescents and adults (10-64 years) without record of recent TDaP vaccination receive a dose including anyone who anticipates having close contact with an infant aged less than 12 months (e.g. parents, grandparents, child care providers and health care workers.) The TDaP vaccine (protecting against Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis and named Adacel or Boostrix) was
licensed in 2005. Any vaccine given before 2005 should be repeated to assure protection against all three diseases.

Adacel and Boostrix are available at the Public Health Department for $25.00.

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