County Faces Alarming Spike in Whooping Cough Cases as Vaccine Fatigue Sets In

County Faces Alarming Spike in Whooping Cough Cases as Vaccine Fatigue Sets InSource: San Diego County
Roma Chang
Published on November 29, 2023

The alarming return of whooping cough, officially known as pertussis, is ringing alarm bells in the county, with cases surging from a dozen in September to a concerning 57 in October, as reported by County News Center.

Some county residents might find the idea challenging amid a reported rise in "vaccine fatigue." Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., the county's vigilant public health officer, highlighted the resurgence, stating, "We’re seeing pertussis spreading in rates similar to before the pandemic."

This cyclical upswing of pertussis, occurring every three to five years, poses a grave risk, especially to vulnerable newborns. The last peak was in 2017, when a 5-week-old infant from San Diego succumbed in July 2016.

The battle against this preventable disease continues, with a focus on expecting mothers and those close to young infants. The County News Center emphasizes the importance of Tdap boosters for pregnant women to protect their newborns.

Pertussis is not just about coughs and sniffles; it can rapidly escalate into severe whooping cough fits. Health officials urge a swift dash to the physician for antibiotics to ease symptoms and halt the contagious chain. The Tdap vaccination remains our shield from childhood to adulthood, with children receiving five doses by kindergarten, pre-teens getting boosts, and adults receiving the shot every ten years.

Getting vaccinated is hassle-free, available at doctor's offices, retail pharmacies, and County Public Health Centers with minimal or no-cost shots for the uninsured. For more information or vaccination clinic details, the County's Immunization Branch can be reached at (866) 358-2966, or visit their webpage.