Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Family members most often source of whooping cough in young infants

Infants with whooping cough were most likely infected by the people they live with, according to a multi-country study led by researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.

The study found that parents were the source of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, in 55 percent of infants. In all, household members including siblings, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents were responsible for 75 percent of pertussis cases among infants for whom a source could be identified.

The results appear in the April 2007 issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal.

Pertussis is a highly contagious bacterial infection. Although pertussis vaccination has reduced the number of reported cases in industrialized countries by more than 95 percent from what it was in the 1950s, the number of reported pertussis cases in the United States has tripled in the past two decades.

“It is important to understand how the disease is spread, particularly to infants who are too young to be vaccinated themselves, so that steps can be taken to prevent infections in these vulnerable infants and potentially save lives,” said Dr. Annelies Van Rie, assistant professor of epidemiology in the UNC School of Public Health and the study’s senior author.

“It is troubling to learn that infants are often infected with pertussis by their own family members, who are often unaware of having pertussis themselves, and in whom pertussis could have been prevented if they had received a pertussis booster vaccination,” she said.

The study, funded by grants from the Institut Pasteur Foundation, Sanofi Pasteur and Sanofi Pasteur-MSD, was conducted over a 20-month period in four countries – Canada, France, Germany and the United States. The researchers found that among infants with pertussis for whom the source case could be identified, parents were the primary source of pertussis in infants, followed by siblings (16 percent), aunts/uncles (10 percent), friends/cousins (10 percent), grandparents (6 percent) and part-time caregivers (2 percent).

“Ongoing research, such as this study, demonstrates that adolescents and adults can transmit pertussis to infants,” Van Rie said. "Pertussis immunization of adolescents and adults, especially those in contact with young infants would not only protect themselves form pertussis, but would also protect young infants from pertussis and could save lives.”

Newborns who are too young to be fully vaccinated against the disease are more vulnerable to severe pertussis and face the possibility of serious complications and even death. Infants account for more than 90 percent of pertussis deaths in the U.S.

The disease is spread though airborne droplets that are transmitted when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It may start as a mild cold or dry cough that persists and eventually worsens. The infected person may look and feel healthy between episodes of coughing. If left untreated, people infected with pertussis can spread the disease for several weeks.

Reports of pertussis have increased most dramatically among adolescents and adults. This is partly because pertussis immunity from early childhood vaccinations wears off, leaving adults and adolescents susceptible to the disease. Most adolescents and adults are not diagnosed with pertussis because they frequently have milder cases of the disease and physicians still perceive pertussis as a childhood disease.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now recommends that adults and adolescents be given a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis booster (Tdap) in place of the tetanus-diphtheria (Td) booster to reduce the burden of pertussis in the United States.

Becky Oskin | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Illinois researchers researchers find tweeting in cities lower than expected
21.02.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht Polluted air may pollute our morality
08.02.2018 | Association for Psychological Science

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>