More than 1,000 cases of whooping cough reported in county in 2010

By City News Service

More than 1,000 people caught whooping cough in San Diego County in 2010, nearly tripling the previous record, county health officials said Thursday.

Including nine new cases in the final week of the year, 1,106 people caught the disease in the county last year, compared to the previous high of 371 cases in 2005, according to the county Health and Human Services Agency.

Two infants died of the disease, also known as pertussis, in 2010.

A new state law went into effect this year requiring certain students to be current with their Tdap booster shots.

"Parents should make it their New Year's resolution to get a booster shot for their middle or high school child before July 1 to ensure there is no delay in enrolling students for the fall term," said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, the county's deputy public health officer.

All students entering grades 7-12 must show proof of receiving a booster shot, and the new law has no grace period.

Several boosters are also necessary for infants.

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.

   
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