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Number Of Whooping Cough Cases Down For Third Week

New whooping cough cases in San Diego County have declined for the third straight week, the Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

Also for the third straight week, no new cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, were reported at schools or other group sites where large numbers of people could have been exposed, according to public health officials.

So far this year, 353 cases of pertussis have been reported in San Diego County, according to the Health and Human Services Agency. In 2010, 1,144 cases were reported, including two infant deaths.

"After persistent outreach efforts to vaccinate the public for whooping cough, the region is beginning to see a downward trend in the number of cases for the region compared to this same time last year. Previously we saw dozens of cases from week to week, but we are beginning to see single-digit numbers in recent weeks," said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.

The HHSA has scheduled a booster clinic Sept. 12 at its Rosecrans Street location to help students meet a new state law which requires 7th through 12th graders to show proof they have received the vaccine before they can attend classes. Parents can also get a booster shot for their children through their primary care physician. Students not covered by an insurance plan can get the vaccine at a retail pharmacy, from a county public heath center or from a booster clinic.

Whooping cough usually starts with a cough and runny nose for up to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of coughing fits which sometimes end with a whooping sound. It can be treated with antibiotics.

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