Almost 10,000 Manteca Unified students need documentation they are immunized against perstussis that is also known as whooping cough in order to return to school in August.
A state-mandate requires all students entering the seventh through 12th grade after July 1 to be immunized against whooping cough or else they must be barred from classes. It impacts all public schools plus private schools as well.
California is in the midst of a declared whooping cough epidemic. In the first nine months of 2001, 10 infants - all under the months of age - died from the highly contagious bacterial disease. There were 5,978 confirmed cases in nine months of the disease that is hard for doctors to diagnose as most of its initial symptoms parallel those of a common cold. This is the worst outbreak of whooping cough in California in 60 years.
Whooping cough triggers uncontrollable coughing for 10 to 12 days that usually starts a week after someone is exposed. Initial symptoms make it seem like a common cold complete with running nose, a low grade fever of 102 degrees or less, and diarrhea. Severe coughing spills start after a week that can lead to vomiting and shortness of consciousness. The coughing can get so severe that it can break blood vessels in the eyes brain, and face. The big risk to young children is death from suffocation.
•If your child has private health insurance – Tdap booster shot is covered; however, insurance co-pay may apply.
•If your child has Healthy Families – Tdap booster shot is covered; however, insurance co-pay may apply if combined with another type of visit.
•If your child has Medi-Cal – Tdap booster shot is covered.
•If your child does not have health insurance – your child may be eligible for the Child Health and Disability Program Gateway Program (CHDP). Tdap booster shot is covered.
For more information on getting vaccinated against pertussis contact your healthcare provider or Public Health Services. For general information on pertussis, visit San Joaquin County Public Health Services at http://www.sjcphs.org, the California Department of Public Health at http://www.cdph.ca.gov, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention http://www.cdc.gov.