Healthy Kids: Pertussis outbreaks

Published: Updated:

FORT MYERS, Fla. -Measles and Immunizations have been in the news for several weeks.  Pediatric News Reports that pertussis outbreaks may be the ‘new normal.’  Here to discuss what this means and the impact on our society is Dr. Annette St. Pierre-MacKoul.

Whoop is rarely seen in young children
Paroxysmal cough with/without apnea
Persistent cough beyond 2 weeks
Treatment doesn’t help the course of illness.
Lasts 6-12 weeks
‘100 day cough’
Contagious:  up to 5 days on therapy or  up to 3 weeks of cough

*California Outbreak of Pertussis:
2014 California Outbreak – highest since the 1940s
Rate = 26/100,000 population
Infant rate = 175/100,000
Infants are vulnerable (7-9 mo of age)
Better immunity in infants if mom receives Tdap booster during pregnancy.

*More California Statistics on Pertussis Outbreak:
15 year olds = 138/100,000 population
Non-Hispanic Whites = 166/100,000 population
Hispanics = 64.2/100,000 population
Asian/Pacific Islanders = 44/100,000 population
Non-Hispanic Blacks = 24/100,000 population

*History of Pertussis Vaccine:
Prior to 1990:  DTP and Td
After 1990:  DTaP and Tdap (fewer neurologic side effects)
Concern:  new vaccines are not working as well  or vaccine refusal is the cause

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