Pertussis in the USA – Symptoms Example

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"Pertussis in the USA" is an engrossing example of a paper on symptoms. Whooping cough also known as Pertussis is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis and it spreads easily from person-to-person. The disease has got significance in the sense that it is the only vaccine-possible illness that is on the rise in the US. Pertussis can be a serious disease for children of age less than 12 months. Some Statistics How the disease is on increase can be seen from the following data recorded in the last few years. Year 2000 2006 2007 2008 New Cases/ 100,000  population 2.88 5.27 3.49 4.40 Total cases registered 7,867 15,632 10,454 13,278 Source: http: //www. cdc. gov/nchs/data/hus/hus10.pdf#044 Susceptibility Though pertussis continues to occur in all age groups across the population, anyone who has not received the vaccination or has not had pertussis in the past is susceptible to the disease.

Vaccination does not provide lifelong immunity. The effect of vaccination remains up to 5 years and then a booster dose of vaccination is needed after that period. Further, the incubation period for the disease is found to be seven to 10 days with a likely range of four to 21 days (Pertussis 2012). Since 2000, it has been noted that almost one-fourth of the infections have occurred in children of the age lesser than 1 year and the mortality rate and other complications are highest with this age group. Pertussis Outbreaks in the US Some of the reported outbreaks of pertussis in the US can be given as per the following. In 2010, the state of California had 9,143 reported cases of pertussis resulting in 10 infant deaths.

In 2008, the state of Michigan had 315 reported cases of pertussis gradually rising to 902 and 1564 cases in 2009 and 2010 respectively (Pertussis outbreaks, 2011). Prevention of Pertussis The national health program covers all children for pertussis vaccination; however, immunity decreases over time.

It is recommended to get pertussis vaccination at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age and then a booster dose at the age between 4-6 years (Brooks and Clover, 2006). Usually, it is clubbed with the vaccination shots of diphtheria and tetanus to provide immunization from Pertussis. The people in routine contact with infants of age 12 months and less are recommended for a booster dose. Pertussis before Travel Pertussis vaccination is recommended before travel for protection and immunization.

Usually, it is given in combination with diphtheria and tetanus and it is known as the DTaP vaccine. Any tetanus/Diphtheria doses in the series can also be substituted with DTaP vaccination that includes vaccination for pertussis (Skoff and Thomas, 2011). The Treatment for Pertussis Whooping cough is treated through antibiotics such as azithromycin (Zithromax), erythromycin and clarithromycin (Biaxin). Trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole (Bactrim) is also used for the treatment of pertussis (Pertussis 2012). Conclusion Pertussis is a community-acquired disease and if left untreated can lead to death.

Infected people are a reservoir of bacteria and can cause disease transmission to infants. Vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the disease. The vaccination, if administered widely, can help reduce the disease across all sections of the society among all age groups.


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Pertussis (2012), Department of Health, New York State, retrieved March 31, 2012, from

Skoff, T.H., Thomas, C.G (2011), Infectious Diseases Related To Travel, retrieved March 31, 2012, from,

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