Your Family

Jul 19, 2010 3:18 PM by Carina Corral

Santa Barbara County hopes to stop pertussis outbreak from reaching its borders

The state has asked all women and seniors get vaccinated against Pertussis, or whooping cough, as the epidemic grows to 1,496 cases.

Here at home, there have been more than 200 cases in San Luis Obispo County reported this year.

Santa Barbara County has been spared from the outbreak at just seven cases. It hopes to keep the numbers down by putting a plan in place.

Key elements of the plan are:

• Provide up to date information and guidance to County residents, healthcare providers, public agencies and County government.

• Describe the disease and case definitions.

• Recommend healthcare providers adopt the California Department of Public Health strategy of "Think, Test, Treat, Report and Prevent Transmission."

• Direct a public health response to investigate reported cases to interrupt the spread of disease and monitor the epidemic within the County.

• Advise and encourage residents of the County to be vaccinated against Pertussis, especially high risk groups and close contacts to infants.

• Issue links to resources for all groups to access information and materials that will assist in preventing the spread of Pertussis in the County.

Infants under 6 months of age are at high risk for contracting Pertussis and suffering the life threatening consequences of infection.

All five of the reported deaths in California for 2010 have been in infants under 6 months of age.

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