Thursday, September 16, 2010
SAN DIEGO A ninth infant has died from whooping cough, or pertussis, in California. The baby was less than two months old and lived in San Bernardino County, according to health officials.
In San Diego County, the number of people getting sick with whooping cough is increasing weekly.
More than 100 new cases of whooping cough have been reported in the past three weeks in San Diego County. The total so far this year is 554 -- almost four times as many as last year.
The county's deputy health officer, Dr. Dean Sidelinger, said the disease tends to peak this time of year. Sidelinger says there could also be an increased number of cases this month as more kids head back to school.
“Pertussis is highly contagious and with more people, including more students, having pertussis this year than in years past certainly we will likely see some spread,” Sidelinger said.
The county is offering free and reduced cost immunizations at several locations this weekend. And beginning tomorrow, the San Diego Intl. Airport will offer the vaccine for a fee.