Persistent Cough Could Be Pertussis, Even in Vaccinated Children

Persistent Cough Could Be Pertussis, Even in Vaccinated Children
Persistent Cough Could Be Pertussis, Even in Vaccinated Children

(HealthDay News) — One-fifth of school-aged children with persistent cough have evidence of pertussis, even among those who are fully vaccinated, according to a study published online June 24 in BMJ.

Kay Wang, BM, BCh, from the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, and colleagues estimated the prevalence and clinical severity of pertussis in 279 school-age children (aged 5–15 years) presenting with persistent cough in primary care. They examined evidence of recent pertussis infection. The frequency of cough was assessed in six children with laboratory-confirmed pertussis.

The researchers found evidence of recent pertussis infection in 20% of the children, including 18% of the 215 fully vaccinated children. Children who had received the preschool pertussis booster vaccination ≥7 years previously had a more than three-fold higher risk of pertussis compared with those who had received it  <7 years earlier (40 vs. 12%, respectively). Children who received five and three component preschool pertussis booster vaccines had a similar risk of pertussis (risk ratio for five component vaccine, 1.14; 95% confidence interval, 0.64–2.03). Cough frequent was >400 coughs in 24 hours in four of the six children for whom frequency was measured.

"These findings will help inform consideration of the need for an adolescent pertussis booster vaccination in the United Kingdom," the authors write.

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