Pertussis (also known as whooping cough or 100-day cough) is a highly contagious bacterial disease. Initially, symptoms are usually similar to those of the common cold with a runny nose, fever, and mild cough. This is then followed by weeks of severe coughing fits. Following a fit of coughing, a high-pitched whoop sound or gasp may occur as the person breathes in. The coughing may last for 10 or more weeks, hence the phrase "100-day cough".A person may cough so hard that they vomit,break ribs, or become very tired from the effort. Children less than one year old may have little or no cough and instead haveperiods where they do not breathe. The time between infection and the onset of symptoms is usually seven to ten days. Disease may occur in those who have been vaccinated, but symptoms are typically milder.
Pertussis is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of an infected person. People are infectious to others from the start of symptoms until about three weeks into the coughing fits. Those treated with antibiotics are no longer infectious after five days. Diagnosis is by collecting a sample from the back of the nose and throat. This sample can then be tested by either culture or by polymerase chain reaction.
Prevention is mainly by vaccination with the pertussis vaccine. Initial immunization is recommended between six and eight weeks of age, with four doses to be given in the first two years of life. The vaccine becomes less effective over time, with additional doses often recommended for older children and adults. Antibiotics may be used to prevent the disease in those who have been exposed and are at risk of severe disease. In those with the disease, antibiotics are useful if started within three weeks of the initial symptoms, but otherwise have little effect in most people. In children less than one year old and among those who are pregnant, they are recommended within six weeks of symptom onset. Antibiotics used include erythromycin,azithromycin, clarithromycin, or trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. Evidence to support the effectiveness of medications for the cough is poor. Many children less than a year of age require hospitalization.
An estimated 16 million people worldwide are infected per year. Most cases occur in the developing world, and people of all ages may be affected. In 2013, it resulted in 61,000 deaths – down from 138,000 deaths in 1990. Nearly 0.5% of infected children less than one year of age die. Outbreaks of the disease were first described in the 16th century. The bacterium that causes the infection was discovered in 1906. The pertussis vaccine became available in the 1940s
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http://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2014/541319/ giovanni gabutti, cecilia trucchi, michele conversano, giambattista zivelonghi, and giorgio zoppi, “booster vaccination: the role of reduced antigen content vaccines as a preschool booster,” biomed research international, vol. 2014, article id 541319, 10 pages, 2014. doi:10.1155/2014/541319