The number of pertussis, or whooping cough cases reported during the first eight months of 2015 than during the entire year in 2014, according to a El Diario report (computer translated).
The Instituto de Salud Carlos III reports 4822 new pertussis cases since the beginning of the year and this compares with a total of 3,123 cases reported during 12 months in 2014.
Dr. Amos Garcia Rojas, president of the Spanish Vaccinology Association (AEV), said that “the original vaccine for pertussis (whole cell) had a lot of power but had a high rate of side effects. The new generation vaccine (acellular) reduces this problem, but immune response is lower than with the other one.”
There is a worldwide shortage of pertussis vaccine production, and there may not be enough vaccine available to maintain immunization schedules.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Whooping cough spreads easily by coughing and sneezing and mainly affects the respiratory system (the organs that help you breathe).
Whooping cough is very serious, especially for babies and young kids. Whooping cough can cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and death. Babies younger than one year of age who get whooping cough may be hospitalized or even die.
Whooping cough is generally treated with antibiotics. It’s important to start treatment as soon as possible to help keep from spreading the disease to others. Early treatment can also make the symptoms end sooner and be less severe.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to lower the risk of getting whooping cough. It’s important to wash your hands, cover your cough, and stay home whenever you’re sick.
Robert Herriman is a microbiologist and the Editor-in-Chief of Outbreak News Today
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