San Diego, California - Five new cases of pertussis where others in the county may have been exposed to the disease have been reported to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

Details of the new cases are listed below.

“Pertussis continues to infect infants and children throughout San Diego County and it is important that they, as well as their caretakers and household contacts, obtain the recommended vaccines,” says Wilma Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer.

The number of cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, reported in the county now stands at 139 for the year. There were 31 cases reported by this date last year and 430 total cases reported in 2013, 165 in 2012 and a recent high of 1,179 cases in 2010.

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 that children get doses of DTaP vaccine at the following ages: 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years. Health officials also recommend that preteens and adults get a Tdap booster. Infants younger than 1-year-old are especially vulnerable because they do not have the full five-dose series of pertussis vaccinations.

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.

All of the new pertussis cases reported at the following locations were up-to-date for their age on immunizations:

· An infant at the Naval Air Station North Island (NASNI) Child Development Center

· An infant at Olivenhain Country Preschool in Encinitas

· A 15-year-old at James Madison High School in the San Diego Unified School District

· A 15-year-old at University City High School in the San Diego Unified School District

·  A 15-year-old at Steele Canyon High School in the Grossmont Union High School District