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County offers whooping cough clinics
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Whooping Cough Community Clinics

July 21 ·         1 p.m. – 3 p.m.Ceres Family Resource Center2908 4th St. ·         9:30 a.m. – 5:30 pm.Closed 1:30 p.m. -  2:30 p.m.Modesto WIC251 E. Hackett Rd., Modesto ·         9 a.m. – 11 a.m.Riverbank Family Resource Ctr2201 Morrill Rd., Riverbank July 27 ·         9 a.m. – 4 p.m.Closed 12 p.m. -12:30 p.m.Waterford WIC325 D St., #2, Waterford July 28 ·         9 a.m. – 2 p.m.Ceres WIC3109 Whitmore Ave., Ceres OngoingMondays – Wednesdays:8 a.m. to 5 p.m.Thursdays:8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.Fridays:8 a.m. to 11 a.m. &1 p.m. to 4 p.m.Immunization ClinicPublic Health820 Scenic Dr., Modesto
With the number of whooping cough cases continuing to mount, the Stanislaus County Health Services Agency is staging several vaccination clinics through the month of July.The health department especially hopes to vaccinate those who are around infants.“It is very important for new mothers and fathers, and caregivers of infants to get the Tdap shot,” said  Dr. John Walker, County Public Health Officer.The health department will hold five vaccination clinics around the county through July 28. Vaccinations will be given to the following priority groups: New post-partum women; fathers of newborns; infant caregivers, including household contacts that might provide care for the infant such as older siblings and grandparents under the age of 65; and daycare providers and daycare workers.The health services agency also offers vaccinations at their clinic at 820 Scenic Dr. in Modesto. The cost per vaccination is based on a sliding scale up to $10. However, no one will be turned away for inability to pay.Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious virus that is particularly dangerous to infants. In June the California Department of Public Health declared pertussis an epidemic in the state and have recorded 1,496 cases and five infant deaths. All five infants were Latino and under three months of age.As of July 15, Stanislaus County had recorded 64 cases of whooping cough, which is nine times more than the same time period last year when seven were recorded. One of the five deaths was in Stanislaus County. In addition, eight more possible cases of pertussis are being investigated by local public health officials. Sixty-two percent of the cases are females, while the age specific pertussis rate for infants less than one year of age is 85.1 per 100,000 population, and for children 10 – 18 years of age, it is 24.1 per 100,000.Pertussis is cyclical and cases tend to peak every two to five years. In 2005, California recorded 3,182 cases and seven deaths. Officials fear that the number of pertussis cases could surpass a level that hasn’t been seen in 50 years. “We are facing what could be the worst year for pertussis that this state has seen in more than 50 years,” said CDPH Chief of the Center for Infectious Disease Dr. Gilberto Chávez, who also is the state’s epidemiologist. “We are urging health providers to broaden their use of the pertussis vaccine and we are urging Californians to take the simple step of getting vaccinated to prevent pertussis.”Because of the increasing frequency of cases, the state health department is encouraging children receive a booster shot before entering middle school. Pertussis vaccination begins at two months of age, but young infants are not adequately protected until the initial series of three shots is complete at 6 months of age. The series of shots that most children receive wears off by the time they finish middle school. Neither vaccination nor illness from pertussis provides lifetime immunity.A typical case of pertussis in children and adults starts with a cough and runny nose for one-to-two weeks, followed by weeks to months of rapid coughing fits that sometimes end with a whooping sound.To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.