4 new cases of pediatric whooping cough reported in San Diego Co - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

4 new cases of pediatric whooping cough reported in San Diego County

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Four new cases of pediatric whooping cough in San Diego County were reported this week, county health officials said Wednesday.

The children diagnosed with the highly contagious bacterial infection ranged from 3-15 years old, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency.

Locally, 681 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, have been confirmed so far this year, according to the HHSA. The county's previous high was 371 cases, recorded in 2005.

"Seventy-five percent of all pertussis cases have been in children 18 years of age and younger," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "We know that 80 percent of children are infected by a household member, so vaccination of adults and family members of these children is very important."

Pertussis typically starts with a cough and runny nose, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that include a whooping sound.

The illness, which might include a mild fever, is treatable with antibiotics.

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