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Pertussis Cases on the Rise in California

Updated September 22, 2014

California is experiencing an epidemic of pertussis and pertussis activity is widespread throughout the state. As of September 15, a total of 8,278 cases have been reported statewide for 2014. These include 288 patients who have been hospitalized and 1 patient who died.

As of September 20, a total of 456 pertussis cases have been reported to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department for 2014, including 5 hospitalizations and no pertussis-related deaths. Between September 14 and September 20, 2014, 14 cases of pertussis were reported.

All pregnant women should receive the Tdap vaccine during every pregnancy, regardless of vaccination history, preferably between 27-36 weeks’ gestation. If the postpartum mother has never received Tdap, promptly administer Tdap before the discharge home. Vaccination of pregnant women with Tdap is covered by health insurers, including Medi-Cal.

Because of the high number of pertussis cases in California, the California Department of Public Health currently recommends that young infants receive their first dose of vaccine against pertussis (called DTaP) as early as 6 weeks of age, especially if the mother did not receive Tdap during pregnancy.

As part of the “cocooning” strategy, all close contacts of infants (e.g., parents, siblings, grandparents, child care providers, etc.) and all healthcare personnel should be immunized against pertussis, particularly those who work with infants or pregnant women.

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*The Santa Clara County Public Health Department does NOT provide Tdap (whooping cough) vaccination to anyone under 18 years old. Pregnant women should get the whooping cough vaccination from their OB/GYN.





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