SAN DIEGO, May 2 (UPI) -- San Diego County officials have reported 298 cases of pertussis -- or whooping cough -- since the beginning of the year, up about 600 percent from the same period of 2013.
Fifty-three cases of the illness were reported by this time last year, and there were 430 total cases in all of 2013. There were 18 reported cases just last week, the county Health and Human Services Agency said Thursday.
"Pertussis has shown no signs of slowing down and this high level of activity should be a concern for parents and caregivers,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county public health officer. "The vaccine's effectiveness lessens over time so it's very important that adults get their booster shots and that they make sure their children have the necessary doses of the vaccine at the recommended ages.''
Whooping cough presents as a cough and runny nose for about one to two weeks with rapid coughing fits and whooping sound for weeks to months after.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend children get the pertussis vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months 15 to 18 months, and 4 to 6 years.