Health

2014 Pertussis Cases Surpass Last Year’s Total

(Republished from http://www.countynewscenter.com/news/pertussis-cases-surpass-last-year’s-total, May 27, with their permission.)

Another 102 new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping-cough, were confirmed by local health officials, bringing this year’s count to 454. In 2013, a total of 431 whooping-cough cases were reported and there were only 63 cases at this point last year. There was a high of 1,179 cases reported in 2010.

In today’s alert, 21 of the new cases were reported at 19 locations where the public may have been exposed.

“This year, a substantial increase in pertussis cases is being reported in San Diego County and throughout California,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “Parents, guardians and teachers should be vigilant for symptoms of the disease.”

A typical case of pertussis 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. Antibiotics can lessen the severity of symptoms and prevent the spread of disease to others.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following vaccination schedule:

  • Young children need five doses of DTaP by kindergarten: at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.
  • All students entering 7th grade need proof of a whooping cough booster immunization (Tdap).
  • A Tdap booster is recommended for pregnant women during their third trimester of each pregnancy, even if they got a booster before becoming pregnant.
  • One dose of Tdap is recommended for adults 19 years of age and older who did not get Tdap as an adolescent.

Parents can obtain the DTaP vaccine series and the Tdap booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physicians. Local retail pharmacies offer vaccinations for a fee, and anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a County Public Health Center at minimal or no cost.

For more information about whooping cough and ongoing vaccination clinics, call the HHSA Immunization Branch at (866) 358-2966, or visit www.sdiz.org.


The Affordable Care Act

ACA is a complex health topic, and an important one for children, their parents, and adults. This file provides a good overview of the ACA provisions and associated issues. Click the blue link below to open.

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California State PTA Resources

http://toolkit.capta.org/

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