“Well, it finally happened, as we expected. We have 2 laboratory confirmed cases of pertussis – whooping cough – in Mammoth Lakes,” reported Mono County Health Officer Dr. Rick Johnson in a Mono Gram released Thursday afternoon.
According to Johnson’s report, one case is a 4-year old, the other an 8-year old. Johnson said both are doing well, and the families have been notified and treated appropriately. There does not appear to be any relationship between the two cases, he added.
Public Health, in cooperation with Sierra Park Pediatrics, Sierra Park Family Medicine, Mammoth Hospital Infection Control Nurse, is conducting the epidemiological investigation in order to identify close contacts. Thus far, this involves extended family in and out of the county, Swim Team, Mammoth Kids Corner, and persons at a sleepover birthday party.
According to Dr. Rick Johnson, Public Health Officer for Mono and Inyo counties, Inyo County recently diagnosed its second case of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough. That patient was at last report doing well, but whooping cough has emerged as a serious illness that is currently experiencing epidemic levels in California.
During the first six months of this year, 1,496 cases of pertussis were reported in California, a five-fold increase from 2009 when 258 cases were reported in the same time period.
In addition, approximately 700 possible cases of pertussis are under investigation. Six infants, all under three months of age, have died from pertussis this year. Unimmunized or incompletely immunized young infants are particularly vulnerable.