WHO/Yoshi Shimizu
                                TB patient at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital in Suva
                                ? Credits

                                Pertussis

                                  Overview

                                  Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. In 2018, there were more than 151 000 cases of pertussis globally.

                                  Pertussis spreads easily from person to person mainly through droplets produced by coughing or sneezing. The disease is most dangerous in infants, and is a significant cause of disease and death in this age group.

                                  The first symptoms generally appear 7 to 10 days after infection. They include a mild fever, runny nose and cough, which in typical cases gradually develops into a hacking cough followed by whooping (hence the common name of whooping cough). Pneumonia is a relatively common complication, and seizures and brain disease occur rarely.

                                  People with pertussis are most contagious up to about 3 weeks after the cough begins, and many children who contract the infection have coughing spells that last 4 to 8 weeks. Antibiotics are used to treat the infection.
                                  Prevention

                                  The best way to prevent pertussis is through immunization. The three-dose primary series diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP3) (- containing) vaccines decrease the risk of severe pertussis in infancy. In 2018, 86% of the global target population had received the recommended three doses of DTP-containing vaccine during infancy.

                                  WHO recommends the first dose be administered as early as 6 weeks of age; with subsequent doses given 4-8 weeks apart, at age 10-14 weeks and 14-18 weeks. A booster dose is recommended, preferably during the second year of life. Based on local epidemiology, further booster doses may be warranted later in life.

                                  Vaccination of pregnant women is effective in preventing disease in infants too young to be vaccinated. National programmes may consider vaccination of pregnant women with pertussis-containing vaccine as a strategy additional to routine primary infant pertussis vaccination in countries or settings with high or increasing infant morbidity/mortality from pertussis.

                                  151 074 cases

                                  of pertussis

                                  In 2018, there were 151 074 cases of pertussis globally.

                                  86%

                                  covered by DTP3

                                  Globally 86% of the target population is covered by the DTP3 vaccine protecting against pertussis.

                                  Find out more

                                  129 countries

                                  90% coverage

                                  By 2018, 129 countries had reached at least 90% coverage of DTP3 vaccine.

                                  Find out more

                                  Publications

                                  All →
                                  Laboratory manual for the diagnosis of whooping cough caused by Bordetella pertussis-Bordetella parapertussis.

                                  Whooping cough is a worldwide infectious disease caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis and Bordetella parapertussis. It is a respiratory disease...

                                  Global Vaccine Action Plan and Decade of Vaccines Review and lessons learned reports

                                  The catalyst for GVAP was the call by Bill and Melinda Gates at the 2010 World Economic Forum for the next decade to be the ‘Decade of Vaccines’. Following...

                                  The immunological basis for immunization series

                                  Bordetella pertussis is a strictly human pathogen with multiple biological activities. The bacteria are transmitted by droplets and the infectious dose...

                                  Report on the immunization and vaccines related implementation research (?IVIR)?: Advisory Committee Meeting, Geneva, 9-11 June 2015

                                  The Immunization and Vaccines related Implementation Research (IVIR) Advisory Committee (AC) meeting report summarizes the deliberations of the Committee...

                                  World Immunization Week 2020

                                  World Immunization Week 2020

                                  WHO
                                  ? Credits