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IDSA: Pertussis Booster Advised for Teens, Adults

Aggressive vaccination may prevent household transmission to infants

FRIDAY, Oct. 13 (HealthDay News) -- Pertussis cases are rising among adolescents and adults due to waning immunity, but aggressive use of the new adult pertussis vaccine can help prevent household transmission to infants, according to research presented at the 44th annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America in Toronto.

Christopher A. Czaja, M.D., of the University of Washington in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed all confirmed pertussis cases reported to Public Health Seattle and King County Seattle between January 2000 and August 2005. The incidence of pertussis increased from 39 cases in 2001 to 280 in 2003, and nearly 200 cases were reported by August of 2005.

Between 2001 and 2004, there was an 11-fold increase in pertussis incidence in patients over 20 years of age and a 5.6-fold increase in those 10 to 19 years. Eighty-two percent of infants aged 3 to 4 months had received the minimum recommended pertussis vaccine doses, a rate that fell to 44 percent for infants aged 5 to 6 months, and 39 percent for infants 7 to 11 months. A household member was deemed a possible source of infection in 62 percent of households with infant cases.

"Adolescents and adults are often sources of infant pertussis within households. Health care providers should be alerted to the rising incidence of pertussis in these age groups, as earlier diagnosis may decrease disease transmission. Clinicians should promote aggressive use of the new adult pertussis vaccine," the authors conclude.

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