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Whooping cough cases stand at 384, vaccination clinic to be held at Northgate Market

SAN DIEGO - The number of cases of whooping cough reported in San Diego County so far this year stands at 384, surpassing the previous record of 371 cases set in 2005, health officials reported today.

A half-dozen new cases of whooping cough, also called pertussis, were reported this week, according to the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency. The latest cases were in children ages 7 to 17, according to the HHSA.

In an effort to combat the epidemic, the HHSA will hold vaccination clinics on weekends through Sept. 26 at a half-dozen Northgate Market locations around the county and at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

The vaccination clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

Clinics will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays at Northgate Markets in Chula Vista, Fallbrook, Vista, Escondido and two locations in San Diego.

''We are continuing our efforts to vaccinate San Diego County residents, put health care professionals on watch and educate the public,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer.

''We are holding vaccination clinics at Northgate Markets and San Ysidro because of the need to reach our Latino residents,'' she said. ''All eight deaths from pertussis in California have been Latino infants.''

One of those fatalities occurred in San Diego County. A month-old boy, who had been diagnosed with whooping cough, died at Rady Children's Hospital last month.

Pertussis often starts with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes ends with a whooping sound. The disease is treated with antibiotics.


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