San Diego health officials recommend whooping cough vaccine amid possible epidemic
6:33 PM, Feb 16, 2018
SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - County health officials are encouraging local women to get vaccinated for "whooping cough" amid a possible epidemic.
The county says pertussis, commonly known as "whooping cough," could turn into a possible local epidemic based on historical patterns.
"It’s critical for pregnant women and people who come into close contact with young infants to get vaccinated," Wilma Wooten, County public health officer, said. "Newborns are very susceptible to whooping cough because they are too young to be fully vaccinated. It is vital for pregnant women to be vaccinated in the third trimester to give protection to their unborn infants."
So far in 2018, there have been 56 confirmed cases of pertussis.
Last year, San Diego County recorded at least 1,154 cases, the highest of any county in California. Wooten said the high numbers were partially attributed to reporting methods.
"Pertussis activity in our region appears to higher than the rest of the state, but much of this is due to the excellent detection and reporting of this potentially deadly disease by San Diego pediatricians and family physicians," Wooten said.
Pertussis is a cyclical disease that peaks every three to five years, according to health officials. San Diego's last epidemics were in 2010 and 2014, with 1,179 and 2,072, respectively.