By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recently declared an epidemic of pertussis. Pertussis is cyclical and incidence naturally peaks every 3-5 years. CDPH is closely monitoring reported cases. As of June 10, 2014, there have been 3,458 cases of pertussis reported. This amount is more than total number of cases reported in 2013. In the last two weeks alone, 800 new cases of pertussis have been reported.
The County of San Bernardino, Department of Public Health has also seen a rise in the number of reported pertussis cases. In 2013, there were a total of 37 reported cases. As of June 13, 2014, 43 cases of pertussis have been reported to the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health compared to 7 cases at this time last year. More than 85% of cases reported are those 19 years of age and younger. Currently, the most impacted demographic group infected with pertussis within San Bernardino County are Hispanic (47%).
Infants are most at risk to develop severe complications from pertussis. Of Infants who are hospitalized with pertussis, about 1 in 5 will get pneumonia and 1 in 100 will die. Two-thirds of pertussis hospitalizations in California have occurred in children less than four months of age. According to Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare, Health Officer for the County of San Bernardino Department of Public Health, “With this recent epidemic, young infants remain the most vulnerable to severe disease and death from pertussis, therefore we urge medical providers to prioritize prevention strategies for this population.”
Recommendations for Medical Providers:
For additional resources on testing, treatment and prophylaxis recommendations; and healthcare exposures, please contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794. Additional resources can be found at http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Pertussis.aspx, http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Pertussis.aspx and the Communicable Disease Section Facebook page at http://www.facebook/CommunicableDiseaseSection.