Number of whooping cough cases continues to rise in SLO County

The number of cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, in San Luis Obispo County continues to climb, local health officials said Thursday.

With 258 confirmed, probable and suspect cases, San Luis Obispo County now has the second-highest number of reported cases in California, the Public Health Department said in a statement. Only Marin County has reported more cases.

Two infants in San Luis Obispo County have been hospitalized because of the disease, which is highly contagious and can be fatal for babies.

Symptoms include a cough lasting longer than two weeks and increasing in severity, episodes of sudden, severe coughing and vomiting after coughing. Treatment includes antibiotics and rest.

To prevent additional cases, Public Health officials are making vaccine available to the following groups:

• Anyone seven years or older who is not fully immunized

• Women of childbearing age, before, during or immediately after pregnancy

• Anyone who has contact with pregnant women or infants.

For more information on whooping cough and local updates, visit www.slocounty.ca.gov/PA.htm or call 788-2903.