Pertussis cases (also known as Whooping Cough) have been tracking upward since the 1970s with a total of 15,000 cases reported in 2017. Some recent studies have reported that up to 10% of patients have no immunity a decade after vaccination and only 55% have immunity that lasts a lifetime.
While children remain the most likely transmitters of the disease, adults can still be at risk depending on their immunity. The CDC 2016 estimates vaccine coverage for pertussis booster’s in adolescence around 90% but only 25% in adults. Pregnant women are always advised to receive the pertussis booster in order to pass immunity onto their unborn babies. Current vaccines are safe and effective but not perfect.
Following the introduction of pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, case counts frequently exceeded 100,000 cases per year but declined dramatically to fewer than 10,000 by 1965. By 2015 more than 20,000 cases were reported nationwide.
Since 2000 about a quarter of cases reported have occurred in children younger than one year of age. This group has the highest rates for complications and death. Older children and adolescents have accounted for more than half the reported cases, and adults 20 years of age and older comprise the remaining 25% of cases. Nationally there were 27 deaths reported among infants with pertussis in 2004. Less serious complications include ear infections, loss of appetite and dehydration. Infrequent complications include inflammation of the brain which can cause convulsions and sometimes long-term effects or even death in infants.
423 cases of pertussis were reported in 2017 in Illinois.
Be sure to get your pertussis booster if you are due; pertussis vaccination comes as part of a combination vaccine called ‘TDaP’. TDaP is comprised of Tetanus, Diptheria, and Pertussis.
At Travel Vaccination Center, we are available every day from Monday-Friday, for your convenience.