Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What did we learn from the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic?

Date:
July 19, 2012
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Because whooping cough (pertussis) is almost as contagious as measles (affecting ~12-17 individuals with each case), clinicians are required to report cases of this bacterial respiratory tract infection to the state’s department of public health. In 2010, California had the highest number of cases of whooping cough in 60 years. A new study describes the 2010 whooping cough epidemic and details strategies to decrease the incidence of this infection.

Because whooping cough (pertussis) is almost as contagious as measles (affecting ~12-17 individuals with each case), clinicians are required to report cases of this bacterial respiratory tract infection to the state's department of public health. In 2010, California had the highest number of cases of whooping cough in 60 years. A new study scheduled for publication in The Journal of Pediatrics describes the 2010 whooping cough epidemic and details strategies to decrease the incidence of this infection.

Related Articles


Kathleen Winter, MPH, and colleagues from the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) evaluated 9,154 cases of whooping cough with onset between January 1 and December 31, 2010; 809 cases were hospitalized and 10 resulted in death. All deaths and most of the hospitalized cases (62%) were in infants less than 3 months of age, and infants less than 6 months of age had the highest disease rates. In the population aged less than 6 months, Hispanics had the highest incidence of whooping cough. However, in children and adolescents 1-18 years of age, Whites had the highest incidence.

It is recommended that infants should receive 4 doses of DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis) vaccine by 18 months of age, and children should receive whooping cough "booster" doses at 4-6 years of age (DTaP) and 11-18 years of age (Tdap). Adults are also encouraged to receive the Tdap booster because immunity from both the disease and the vaccine wanes over time. The number of cases of whooping cough was elevated in pre-adolescents, even when they are fully vaccinated, indicating that protection from the 5-dose DTaP series may wane before the Tdap booster is given. However, the authors believe that the decrease in cases of 11-14 year olds suggests that Tdap is effective for adolescents.

In response to the sharp increase of cases in 2010, CDPH implemented a public health campaign to distribute educational materials to health care providers and the public to stress the importance of rapid diagnosis and treatment, especially in young infants, recommend vaccination for adults older than 64 years of age, under-immunized children 7-9 years old, and pregnant women, and provide free Tdap booster vaccines to hospitals, community health centers, and Native American health centers for pregnant and postpartum women and other infant contacts. To decrease the occurrence of whooping cough in infants who are too young to be vaccinated, it is important to immunize household and family members who will be in close contact with the baby (a strategy known as "cocooning") and increase the immunity of the population as a whole to decrease infants' exposure to pertussis.

Prior to the epidemic in 2010, only 23% of California birth hospitals had policies to offer Tdap to postpartum women. In 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognized the extreme vulnerability of young infants and recommended universal Tdap immunization for pregnant women (after the 20th week of gestation) who previously had not received Tdap. According to Ms. Winter, "In the absence of better vaccines, it is imperative that strategies to protect young infants directly, such as maternal vaccination during pregnancy, be evaluated for effectiveness. In addition, it is critical that providers continue to be vigilant and promptly diagnose and treat young infants with whooping cough."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Kathleen Winter, Kathleen Harriman, Jennifer Zipprich, Robert Schechter, John Talarico, James Watt and Gilberto Chavez. California Pertussis Epidemic, 2010. The Journal of Pediatrics, 2012 DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2012.05.041

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "What did we learn from the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719082527.htm>.
Elsevier. (2012, July 19). What did we learn from the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719082527.htm
Elsevier. "What did we learn from the 2010 California whooping cough epidemic?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120719082527.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

Ebola Fears Keep Guinea Hospitals Empty

AP (Oct. 23, 2014) Fears of Ebola are keeping doctors and patients alike away from hospitals in the West African nation of Guinea. (Oct. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Orthodontist Mom Jennifer Salzer on the Best Time for Braces

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) Is your child ready? Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

U.S. Issues Ebola Travel Restrictions, Are Visa Bans Next?

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) Now that the U.S. is restricting travel from West Africa, some are dropping questions about a travel ban and instead asking about visa bans. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

More People Diagnosed With TB In 2013, But There's Good News

Newsy (Oct. 22, 2014) The World Health Organizations says TB numbers rose in 2013, but it's partly due to better detection and more survivors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins