Whooping Cough Rates Up in San Joaquin Valley
Whooping cough rates this year have increased in the central San Joaquin Valley, leading public health officials to ask residents to be conscious of persistent coughs -- a characteristic of the disease -- this summer, the Fresno Bee reports. Cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, typically spike every three to four years, and the last significant increase occurred in 2002, according to the Bee.
In Fresno County, pertussis cases have increased from 18 last year to 220 to date in 2005, while Tulare County has reported 19 cases in 2005, up from three last year. Madera County, which reported no pertussis cases in 2004, has reported 34 to date this year.
Vaccinations are recommended for children at two months, four months, six months and 15 months of age, as well as a booster shot between ages four and six. In addition, FDA recently has approved vaccines for people ages eight and older, including one for adults.
Peggy Richardson, Fresno County immunization coordinator and supervising public health nurse, said that the county has not yet received any doses of the adolescent or adult vaccines through the state Vaccine for Children program but added that she expects to receive doses in the coming months.
Carol Barney, Madera County health director, said her doctor is offering the adult vaccine to patients (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 8/6).