Health & Medicine

Expecting a baby? Get vaccinated for whooping cough, SLO County health officials say

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is urging all pregnant women and their families to get immunized against whooping cough. Twenty-eight cases were reported in the county last year.
The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is urging all pregnant women and their families to get immunized against whooping cough. Twenty-eight cases were reported in the county last year. TNS

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is urging all pregnant women and their families to get immunized against whooping cough.

Preliminary data show 28 cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease were reported in San Luis Obispo County in 2016. In two cases, patients were hospitalized.

Statewide, 1,540 cases and two infant deaths were reported last year, according to a report issued by the state Department of Public Health.

The peak months for whooping cough are May through September.

The illness is considered most serious for babies, who are especially vulnerable until they can receive their first DTaP vaccine at two months.

“By getting the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy, women are passing on protective antibodies needed to greatly lower their babies’ risk of developing pertussis in early life. When caregivers and close family also get the vaccine, they are creating a circle of protection to help keep the baby safe,” said Penny Borenstein, health officer for the county.

Search for locations that offer immunizations at vaccinefinder.org.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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