Whooping cough is most often caused by Bordetella pertussis (B. pertussis), more rarely by B. parapertussis.
According to Section 6 of the Infection Protection Act (IfSG), since 2013 there has been a nationwide obligation to report suspected illness, illness and death caused by B. pertussis or B. parapertussis ( so-called doctor’s obligation to report) as well as direct evidence of the two pathogens and indirect evidence of B. pertussis (§ 7 IfSG , so-called laboratory reporting obligation).
In the wake of COVID-19-pandemic and the associated infection control measures, a significant decrease in the number of whooping cough cases was observed in Germany. While the number of B. pertussis cases currently remains below the prepandemic level, a significant increase in B. parapertussis infections has been observed since the fourth quarter of 2022, exceeding the prepandemic number of cases.
The reasons for this are probably a catch-up effect after the COVID-19 pandemic, changed diagnostic behavior and the lack of a sufficiently effective vaccination. In Epidemiological Bulletin 33/2023, the epidemiology of the B. parapertussis infections transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute according to IfSG is presented.
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