Whooping cough still evident in North County

NORTH COUNTY – Parents and staff of a North County school were notified of a potential exposure to pertussis, also known as whooping cough, after a child was diagnosed with the contagious disease, County Health and Human Services Agency (HHSA) officials said Nov. 9.

The most recent case is an 8-year-old student who was up-to-date with immunizations and attends Pacific Rim Elementary School in the Carlsbad Unified School District.

Parents who suspect their children may have been exposed should contact their primary care physician. They can also obtain the vaccine series and the Tdap booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physician. Local retail pharmacies offer vaccinations for a fee; anyone who is not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a County Public Health Center at no cost.

“County public health notifies the public of these cases because pertussis is a highly communicable disease that incubates between 4 to 21 days, but sometimes as much as 42 days,” said Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County Public Health Officer. “The vaccination series and booster protect most everyone from the disease, but if vaccinated people do develop pertussis, the symptoms are less severe.”

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. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.

The Pacific Rim Elementary case brings the total number of cases to 120 in the region this year. A total of 400 pertussis cases were reported locally in 2011.

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


One Response to "Whooping cough still evident in North County"

  1. Epitome   March 18, 2013 at 8:43 am

    Been there, done that! Had whooping cough last year.Here’s what haepenpd (and those of you who think childhood vaccinations are enough, listen up!) The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine is generally given as part of the tetanus booster. Tetanus is needed only every 10 years or so, and it’s a pretty stiff one some local pain & swelling, temperature afterwards, etc. so they don’t encourage you to get it more frequently. But the immunity from the pertussis booster doesn’t last nearly as long maybe 5 years if you’re lucky.I got caught in the window between when my pertussis immunity dropped and when I was due for another tetanus booster. Didn’t break any ribs but I coughed like a horse for six weeks.Individual bad reactions to various immunizations are one thing, but refusal of all vaccines on the basis of supposedly causing autism or some sort of conspiracy between doctors and Big Pharma is a really, really stupid idea. Those of us old enough to remember measles & polio epidemics, or who have travelled to places where various nasty diseases are still rife, appreciate modern medicine. The man who did the original study linking vaccines & autism was disciplined for falsifying his data, his medical license was revoked, and the article was withdrawn from the Lancet.


Leave a Reply