Pertussis (whooping cough): Get The Facts
The total number of confirmed pertussis cases in San Diego County to date is 1,809 as of early December. This is markedly higher than the previous record of 1,179 cases reported in 2010.
Whooping cough is a very contagious respiratory tract infection. It usually starts with cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild, occasional cough. Since the early stages of pertussis can appear to be just a cold, it may not be suspected or diagnosed until the more severe symptoms start.
After 1-2 weeks, severe coughing can begin. Fits of rapid coughing may be followed by a high-pitched whooping sound. Other symptoms can include vomiting and exhaustion. However, it’s important to note that not everyone with pertussis coughs or makes the whooping sound.
In infants and children, especially those not fully vaccinated, whooping cough can cause serious and life-threatening complications. Half of infants 1 year of age who get pertussis are hospitalized. Of those babies, complications such as pneumonia, convulsions and apnea (slowed or stopped breathing) can result.
Complications in older children and adults are usually less serious, especially in those who have received pertussis vaccine.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the DTaP vaccine be given to children at 2, 4, 6, 15-18 months and 4-6 years. Preteens and adults should get a Tdap booster. Persons should check with their regular source of health care about these and other immunizations.
The CDC’s Vaccine and Immunization website has more information about vaccine-preventable diseases like pertussis, and the immunizations to protect against them.
Central Region Public Health Center and VIP Trailer (Oceanview Boulevard) Also Offer Online Immunization Appointments!
The Central Region Public Health Center (5202 University Ave., San Diego, 92105) and the VIP Trailer (3177A Oceanview Blvd., San Diego, 92113) also offer appointments for immunizations (including influenza) online, in addition to their walk-in immunization services. These locations have joined the South Region Public Health Center in offering this service. Click here to check out the Online Appointment System! Appointments cannot be scheduled by telephone..
Measles: What You Need To Know
Measles is a vaccine-preventable disease which is normally rare in the U.S. However, earlier this year, four measles cases were reported in San Diego County. Orange County has reported 21 measles cases and several other counties around the state have reported cases as well. And an outbreak has been reported in New York City.
Measles is a very contagious disease. It spreads through the air by breathing, coughing or sneezing. It is so contagious that any child who is exposed to it and is not immune will probably get the disease.
Measles develops seven to 21 days after exposure. Early symptoms include cough, runny nose and red eyes. The distinctive red rash usually appears one to four days after early symptoms appear. A person is considered contagious four days before the rash appears. The rash begins on the face and head then proceeds downward and outward to the hands and feet. It fades in the same order it began, from head to feet.
Complications from measles are more common in children younger than 5 years old and adults 20 years and older. Complications can include diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Death can occur from severe complications and the risk is higher among younger children and adults. There is no treatment for measles. Bed rest, fluids and fever control are recommended. People with complications may need treatment for their specific problem.
These cases show why it is important for everyone to stay up to date on their immunizations. All persons born in 1957 or after should have documentation of at least one dose of MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine or other evidence of immunity to measles. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends two doses of the vaccine: the first at 12 months of age, and the second between ages 4–6 years.
Persons should check with their regular source of health care to make sure they have had immunizations to protect against measles, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases.
Visit the CDC’s Vaccine and Immunizations website for more information about measles, other vaccine-preventable diseases and the immunizations to protect against them.
Are You Up for the Challenge?
This fun and informative vaccine trivia game from the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Vaccine Education Center offers a way to learn about vaccines. Choose from 4 categories (historical/ famous figures, safety, vaccines and diseases) and answer 10 randomly selected questions from the chosen category. Click here to get started.
Recommended Immunization Schedules Available
These easy-to-read schedules show the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention immunization recommendations for people from birth to adulthood. Click on the links below to view and download the schedules
Schedule for 0-6 years and 7-18 years of age.
Schedule for adults 19 years and older.
More information can also be found on the CDC website here.
Disease Information Resource: County of San Diego Epidemiology Program
The County Epidemiology Program works to identify, investigate, register, and evaluate communicable, reportable, and emerging diseases and conditions to protect the health of the community. For more information about a variety of diseases, such as influenza and Hepatitis A, visit the Program's website here.
Live Well San Diego
Live Well San Diego is a comprehensive and innovative long-term strategy for wellness, approved by the County of San Diego Board of Supervisors in 2010. The strategy will help all County residents to become Healthy, Safe and Thriving, and is being implement with community involvement. To learn more about this important strategy, please visit the Live Well San Diego website. You can also download this flyer for more information.
Eligibility For Immunizations at County Public Health Centers:
The following individuals are eligible to receive immunizations at County Public Health Centers:
- Children and adults who do not have health insurance.
- Children and adults whose health insurance does not include vaccines.
- Persons 0-18 years who are Alaskan Native or American Indian.
- Persons 0-18
years who have Medi-Cal or are Medi-Cal eligible.
- Persons 6 months and older in need of influenza (flu) vaccine regardless of health coverage.
Individuals are not eligible for vaccines if their insurance includes vaccinations, even if there are co-pays or deductibles.
If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for vaccines at County Public Health Centers, please call your local Center.
Vaccine Information You Need
The Immunization Action Coalition (IAC) has redesigned part of their website to provide a new look for the many great resources they have for the public. Called Vaccine Information You Need, it's a one-stop shop for getting the facts about immunization and how important it is to everyone's health. Click here or on the link above to visit this site. Also, on the site, look for a link for Voices for Vaccine, a group of parents who advocate immunization.
Resources for health care professionals are available by clicking the link at the top of the new section Vaccine Information You Need. And, as always, health care professionals can access those reources through www.immunize.org.
We’re This Close To Ending Polio
Immunization Website For Parents
Rotary International and a host of individuals and organizations worldwide are running a campaign aimed at promoting awareness of and support for polio eradication in general and Rotary’s End Polio Now program in particular.
The campaign’s theme is We’re This Close To Ending Polio. Print ads and Public Service Announcements show photos of people doing the “This Close” gesture with their thumb and forefinger, and display type providing the context.
See photos, join the campaign and read more at the End Polio Now site.
The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has an immunization website for parents. Called For
Parents: Vaccines for Your Children, it features
information about a host of topics of special
interest to parents, including recording
immunizations, finding old immunization records,
vaccinations during pregnancy, what
immunizations a child needs before traveling
internationally, and much more! Visit the
History of Vaccines
(click title or
button labeled "The History of
Vaccines" at lower right to go
This informative and educational website,
created by The College of Physicians of
Philadelphia, "explores the role of
Immunization in the human experience and
examines its continuing contribution to Public
The site features articles
about the History of Anti-vaccination Movements,
DIfferent Types of Vaccines, Ethical Issues and
Vaccines, and much more. One article of note is
an excellent overview of vaccine injury
compensation programs in the U.S., including an
introduction by immunization expert Paul Offit,
featured are timelines
showing the important events in the histories of
diseases and vaccines, science and society and
is a special section just for parents with
features like Top 20 Questions about
Vaccinations, Misconceptions About Vaccinations
and the Development of the Vaccine Schedule. There
are also special sections for educators and the
media. Anyone interested in vaccines and
vaccination will find a wealth of interesting
and helpful information.
Immunizations and Developmental Milestones
for your Child from Birth Through 6 Years Old is
a flyer on which you can keep track of the
immunizations your child needs and also
developmental milestones you see as he or she
grows (such as smiling, talking, walking, etc.).
This free tool is produced by the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), American
Academy of Family Physicians and the American
Academy of Pediatrics. Download it by clicking here.
Video PSA (click to play)!
Consumer-Based Immunization Information
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
hosts an innovative website to help
parents and other consumers learn about the most
effective way to protect themselves and their
children from infectious diseases and learn
about immunization. Vaccines.gov
brings together the best in federal resources on
vaccine and immunizations to provide consumers
with easy-to-understand health information
specifically for their needs.