SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The number of whooping cough cases diagnosed in San Diego County so far this year is nearly double the total recorded in all of 2013, the county Health and Human Services Agency announced Friday.
The county has logged 759 cases in the first half of 2014, compared to 431 in all of 2013. By this time last year, 97 pertussis cases had been diagnosed.
The recent record for pertussis cases in the county is 1,179, set in 2010.
"Parents should remain vigilant for signs of whooping cough to help prevent the spread of this disease," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "Everyone should be up-to-date on their vaccinations and booster shot. Even though the effectiveness of the vaccine lessens over time, it's still the best defense against pertussis."
Last week, the state of California declared a pertussis epidemic. Infants in Placer, Riverside and Sacramento counties have died of the disease.
Because most of the fatalities that result from the disease are in infants, health officials are urging pregnant women to make sure they're up to date on their vaccinations, so the unborn child will acquire some of the immunities.
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 prevent spreading the disease to others and can lessen the severity of symptoms, according to health officials.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that children get doses of the 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 booster.
Infants younger than a year old are especially vulnerable because they do not have the full five-dose series of pertussis vaccinations.
Parents can obtain the vaccine series and the booster shot for themselves and their children through their primary care physician. Local retail pharmacies offer vaccinations for a fee, and anyone not covered by a medical insurance plan can get the shot from a county public health center at minimal or no cost.
Information about whooping cough and vaccination clinics is available at the HHSA Immunization Branch by calling (866) 358-2966, or online at sdiz.org.
A 27-year-old man suffered fatal injuries as the result of a "punching game'' inside of a bar Saturday morning in the Gaslamp
neighborhood of San Diego.
SANDAG began removing call boxes along urban highways throughout the San Diego region this month and will continue to do so through June, reflecting a decrease in call volume due to the increase in cell phone ownership.
Authorities today announced that police have arrested a suspect in connection with Friday's sexual assault on the campus of San Diego Mesa College. The name of the suspect was not immediately released.
Showers will be mostly light Saturday morning, decreasing into early Saturday afternoon. Another round of showers expected to push through late afternoon ending late Saturday night.
Police Chief David Nisleit Friday strongly disavowed what he described as an unofficial, "never authorized" departmental program that rewarded officers for making narcotics arrests.
On Friday, San Diego Police announced their search for a suspect involved in a robbery off the San Diego State University campus.
A court-appointed receiver has taken control of a Pacific Beach "hoarder house" that has accumulated trash, created unsafe conditions for children and harbored vermin in recent years, the San Diego City Attorney's Office announced Friday.
The owners of Hauser's Patio reached out to News 8 Friday morning asking to be put in contact with the couple who had their furniture stolen from their patio in Pacific Beach this week.