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Whooping Cough (Pertussis) Issue Toolkit
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Background | Resources | Articles

 


 

Background

Whooping cough (also known as Pertussis) is an infectious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable coughing. The name comes from the noise you make when you take a breath after you cough. You may have choking spells or may cough so hard that you vomit.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but it is more common in infants and children. It's especially dangerous in infants. The coughing spells can be so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink or breathe.

Before there was a vaccine, whooping cough was one of the most common childhood diseases and a major cause of childhood deaths in the US There are fewer cases today because there are both pertussis-only vaccines and combination vaccines for tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. If you have whooping cough, treatment with antibiotics may help if given early.

This disease results in high morbidity and mortality in many countries every year. In the United States, 5000-7000 cases are reported each year. Incidence of pertussis has increased steadily since the 1980s. The incidence in 2007 was 3.6/100,000 when 10,454, cases of pertussis were reported.

(Source: CDC)


Resources

Whooping CoughGeneral information from MedlinePlus.
PertussisDisease information from the CDC.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) VaccinationWhooping cough — known medically as pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. Whooping cough is most contagious before the coughing starts. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria.
Pertussis (Whooping Cough) – What You Need To KnowPertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness―especially in infants who are too young to be fully vaccinated. Make sure your infants and young children get their recommended five shots on time. Adolescent and adult vaccination is also important, especially for families with new infants.
Tos ferina: lo que debe saberLa tos ferina (pertussis) es una enfermedad muy contagiosa y puede enfermar gravemente a las personas, en especial a los bebés que son muy pequeños aún para recibir todas las vacunas. Asegúrese de que los bebés y los niños pequeños reciban las cinco dosis recomendadas de la vacuna. También es importante la vacunación de adultos y adolescentes, en especial para familias que tengan bebés recién nacidos.
Whooping Cough (pertussis)The CDC recommends that every adult 19 to 64 years of age receive one dose of pertussis vaccine. Pertussis vaccine is given in combination with tetanus and diphtheria vaccines (Tdap). Tdap should replace one of the every-10-year booster doses of Td recommended for all adults.
PertussisFrom the Traveler's Health - Yellow Book.
Tdap Vaccination Strategies for Adolescents and Adults, Including Health Care PersonnelThe Joint Commission's Division of Healthcare Quality Evaluation is releasing "Tdap Vaccination Strategies for Adolescents and Adults, Including Health Care Personnel: Strategies from Research and Practice" to help health care organizations of all types (hospitals, long term care facilities, ambulatory settings, home health organizations, etc.) improve Tdap vaccination rates.
ACIP urges pertussis vaccination for health workersIn the wake of a bad year for pertussis (whooping cough) in 2010, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) has recommended that healthcare personnel (HCP) get vaccinated against the disease and that employers should foot the bill.
Updated Recommendations for Use of Tetanus Toxoid, Reduced Diphtheria Toxoid and Acellular Pertussis (Tdap) Vaccine from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, 2010As published in the January 14, 2011 issue of the MMWR.
Pertussis (whooping cough) information for dental practicesFrom the California Dental Association.

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Articles

Pertussis Vaccine Protection Wanes 42% Every Year

The odds of acquiring pertussis increase 42% every year after children receive the fifth dose of the diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine, leading to increasing outbreaks of whooping cough in immunized children, according to a study published in the September 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Old whooping cough vaccine protected better than newAn older version of the whooping cough vaccine offered better protection against the disease than the current version does, a new study from Australia suggests.
CDC: Whooping cough epidemic worst in 50 yearsWhooping cough is causing the worst epidemic seen in the United States in more than 50 years, health officials said, and they're calling for mass vaccination of adults.
Summer camps warned of whooping cough outbreakCases of whooping cough continue to rise in Maine as children head off to summer camps, potentially spreading the highly contagious disease to new groups of children.
Whooping cough vaccines should be given to all adults, gov't panel saysThe panel wants to expand its recommendation to include all those age 65 and older who haven't gotten a whooping cough shot as an adult.
Whooping Cough Bacteria May Be Changing Their Ways In AustraliaLan and his colleagues performed genetic tests of bacterial cultures, grown from samples taken to diagnose patients in clinics across Australia. His team was looking for bacteria with variants of two genes which Lan says make them "mismatched" to the vaccine.
Whooping cough epidemic declared in Wash. stateWashington state's worst outbreak of whooping cough in decades has prompted health officials to declare an epidemic, seek help from federal experts and urge residents to get vaccinated amid worry that cases of the highly contagious disease could spike much higher.
Whooping cough vaccine fades in pre-teens: studyDuring a whooping cough outbreak in California in 2010, immunized children between eight and 12 years old were more likely to catch the bacterial disease than kids of other ages, suggesting that the childhood vaccine wears off as kids get older, according to new research.
Pertussis vaccine recommended for pregnant women A CDC advisory panel says immunization after 20 weeks' gestation offers babies protection until the first dose at 2 months.
Study finds protection gap in postpartum pertussis vaccinationVaccinating women during the postpartum period is one strategy used to protect newborns against pertussis, but an optimal antibody response may not occur fast enough to protect babies during the first few weeks of life, Canadian researchers reported yesterday.
FDA approves Boostrix to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis in older peopleThe US Food and Drug Administration today approved Boostrix vaccine to prevent tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) in people ages 65 and older.
ACIP urges pertussis vaccination for health workersIn the wake of a bad year for pertussis (whooping cough) in 2010, the federal Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended today that healthcare personnel (HCP) get vaccinated against the disease and that employers should foot the bill.
The Global Pertussis Initiative: Report from a Round Table Meeting to discuss the epidemiology and detection of pertussis, Paris, France, 11–12 January 2010Pertussis remains endemic worldwide and is an important public health problem, even in countries with sustained high vaccination coverage. Resurgence of pertussis in the post-vaccination era has been reported in many areas of the world.
Pertussis: An Old Enemy ResurfacesThe Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC) reminds healthcare professionals and healthcare consumers that pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a serious respiratory illness characterized by an infectious cough. Although most of us were vaccinated against it as children, our ability to fight it off weakens, leaving us once again susceptible as adults. Pertussis is very contagious and can be quite serious, especially for infants less than one year of age.
MMWR: Local Health Department Costs Associated with Response to a School-Based Pertussis Outbreak --- Omaha, Nebraska, September--November 2008This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated that 1) staff members reported 1,032 person-hours spent responding to the outbreak, and 2) the total cost of outbreak response, including overhead, labor, travel, and other costs, was $52,131 (measured in 2008 U.S. dollars). The majority of costs (59%) occurred during an intensive 10-day period, when most of the contact tracing and prophylaxis recommendations were made. The elevated incidence of pertussis and the burden of response placed on health departments warrants exploring the impact of alternative response and chemoprophylaxis strategies.
Pertussis epidemic in California linked to vaccination gaps Some doctors in the state say parents not vaccinating children, and physicians limiting the immunizations they administer because of payment issues, contributed to the outbreak.
Clinical Examples of Pertussis YouTube video with clinical examples of pertussis.
Bordetella petrii Clinical IsolateThe authors describe the first clinical isolate of Bordetella petrii

from a patient with mandibular osteomyelitis. The only previously documented isolation of B. petrii occurred after the initial culture of a single strain from an environmental source.

Highly Contagious Pertussis Re-Emerges; Required Tdap Vaccine Protects Against ItThe number of reported pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Alabama in all ages has increased from 68 in 2008 to 315 in 2009. Already in the first six months of 2010 there have been 93 reported cases of pertussis.

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