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Whooping Cough Case Reported at Carmel Valley Middle School

The San Diego County Health and Human Services reported Thursday two new cases of whooping cough, including one at Carmel Valley Middle School.

A 13-year-old student who attends was diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, according to the San Diego County Health Services and Human Services Agency. The county said on Thursday that students and staff were potentially exposed to the highly contagious respiratory infection.

The county also reported a second case of an 8-year-old student who attends Cook Elementary School in Chula Vista on Thursday. Both students were up-to-date on immunizations.

"Check with your family physician to make sure everyone has all the required vaccinations to protect them against this disease," said Wilma Wooten, M.D., county public health officer in an announcement. "Some people can still contract pertussis even if they are vaccinated, but symptoms will usually be milder than when someone is unvaccinated."

Typical pertussis symptoms start with a cough and runny nose for one to two weeks, according to the county, followed by weeks or even months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes have a "whooping" sound. The disease is treatable with antibiotics.

The CDC recommends that children get doses of DTaP vaccine at 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 15 to 18 months, and at 4 to 6 years old. Officials also recommended that preteens and adults get a Tdap booster.

The county reminds parents that children can obtain these vaccines from their primary care physicians, many local retail pharmacies, and for anyone not covered by a medical insurance plan - from a County Public Health Center at no cost.

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