Whooping cough cases in San Diego County continue to rise

The number of whooping cough cases in San Diego County has risen to 384 cases, surpassing the previous record set in 2005 at 371 cases.

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

Approximately 3,000 Californians have contracted the infection this year, according to the state Department of Public Health, which is approximately eight out of every 100,000 people. Additionally, eight infants, including one from San Diego County, have died from the infection, according to officials.

If the cases continue, officials fear, this will be the worst whooping cough epidemic in the state in over 50 years, reports.

Wooten said that infants are typically more vulnerable to the disease, adding that all of the California deaths this year have been among Latino babies.

CDC officials recommend that children receive combination vaccine shots for whooping cough, diphtheria and tetanus, known as Tdap, at two, four and six months of age, at 15 to 18 months and at four to six years of age.

Health officials have also encouraged parents to get their newborn children born before leaving the hospital. A booster shot, health officials say, should be given if one hasn't been administered in the last five to 10 years.