NewsDesk @bactiman63

Maine health officials report cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, are on the rise in the state.

Image/ National Atlas of the United States

In the first three months of 2023, providers reported nineteen cases of pertussis, more than twice the number reported during that same time period in 2022.

Pertussis case counts in 2023 have already surpassed the total count of cases in 2021.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria which are transmitted via direct contact with the respiratory secretions of infected persons. Classic pertussis symptoms include paroxysmal coughing (commonly followed by a high-pitched “whooping” sound) and post-tussive gagging or vomiting. Pertussis can cause serious illness and can be life-threatening, especially in infants. Around half of infants less than 1 year of age with pertussis require hospitalization.

Providers should ensure that all patients, regardless of age, are up-to-date on pertussis vaccination: