Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Family members most often source of whooping cough in young infants

29.03.2007
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:
http://www.unc.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht Amazingly flexible: Learning to read in your thirties profoundly transforms the brain
26.05.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften

nachricht Fixating on faces
26.01.2017 | California Institute of Technology

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>