Whooping Cough (Pertussis) in Michigan
What is Pertussis (Whooping Cough)?
Pertussis is a respiratory illness that is easily spread by coughing and sneezing. The disease starts like the common cold, with runny nose or congestion, sneezing, and mild cough or fever. After 1-2 weeks, severe coughing begins. Infants and children with the disease cough violently and rapidly, over and over, until the air is gone from their lungs and they're forced to inhale with a loud "whooping" sound. The coughing can last for weeks, even months. Adults and adolescents typically have a milder form of pertussis; however, they can still easily spread the infection to others, including infants and young children. Pertussis is most severe for babies; more than half of infants less than 1 year of age who get the disease must be hospitalized.
Why be Concerned?
Pertussis activity is on the rise in the United States and here in Michigan. The good news is that pertussis is preventable and the public can protect themselves and their families through vaccination.
In Michigan, there has been a worrisome steady increase in pertussis over the past decade, peaking in 2010 with over 1,500 cases reported. A provisional total of 847 pertussis cases were reported in Michigan in 2012. This represents a 21 percent increase over the 691 cases reported in 2011.
In 2012, the U.S. experienced a large increase in pertussis throughout the country. There was a provisional total of over 41,000 cases, the most reported since 1955. As in previous years, reported incidence was highest in infants. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) received reports of 18 pertussis-related deaths in 2012, with most occurring among infants under 3 months of age. In Michigan, one infant died of pertussis in 2012.
How can Pertussis be Prevented?
The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. Make sure infants and young children get their recommended five shots on time. Protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time. Adolescents and adults need to be revaccinated, even if they were completely vaccinated as children. This is especially important for families with new infants. To best protect the infant, pregnant women should be given Tdap during each pregnancy between 27 and 36 weeks gestation.
Clinical Information on Pertussis
Pertussis Chapter - Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (Pink Book)
Pertussis Chapter - MDCH Vaccine Preventable Disease Investigation Guidelines
Pertussis is Peaking: Take Action!
Best Practices for Health Care Professionals on the Use of PCR Tests for Diagnosing Pertussis
Specimen collection videos from CDC
Letters from MDCH
Letter to Emergency Departments on Tdap Vaccination
Letter to Birthing Hospitals on Tdap Vaccination
Letter to OB/GYNs on Tdap Vaccination
Letter to Hospital CEOs on Tdap Vaccination
New! ACIP Recommendations on Use of Tdap for Pregnant Women (Feb. 2013)
MDCH Vaccine Resources for Health Care Professionals
Tetanus Prophylaxis Guidelines
Recommended Immunization Schedules for Children, Adolescents, and Adults
Updated Tdap Recommendations - Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (Jan 2011)
Additional Tdap Vaccine Information
VFC-ACIP Vaccine Resolution on Diphtheria, Tetanus, & Pertussis (Oct 2012)
CDC Immunization & Pregnancy Chart for Providers
Healthcare Personnel Vaccination Recommendations
Health Care Personnel: It's Time for Your Tetanus Booster
Tdap Vaccination Strategies for Adults and Adolescents, including Health Care Personnel - Joint Commission
Using DTaP/IPV/Hib (Pentacel®)
Using DTaP/IPV (KINRIX™)
Using Pediarix® (DTaP/IPV/Hep B)
Using DTaP Vaccine
Using Tdap Vaccine
Standing orders for administering DTaP vaccine to children younger than 7 years
Standing orders for administering Td/Tdap vaccine to adults
Standing orders for administering Td/Tdap vaccine to children ages 7 years and older
About Pertussis Vaccine
Educational Materials and Resources
Posters and Flyers
Protect Babies from Whooping Cough Infographic
Why get vaccinated against whooping cough? Francesca's story
In the battle against whooping cough, she needs more than cute
Got Flu and Tdap Vaccines? Posters for Health Care Personnel
Cocooning Poster: Protect this baby from flu and whooping cough
Pertussis and Pregnancy Detailed Flyer
Pertussis and Pregnancy posters
Pertussis and Flu Pregnancy posters
CDC Vaccines and Pregnancy Flyer
Protecting Your Baby from Pertussis
Surround Your Baby With A Vaccinated Family - English
Surround Your Baby With A Vaccinated Family - Spanish
Parents: Protect Yourself and Your Children from Whooping Cough!
Grandparents: Protect Yourself from Pertussis
School & Child Care Settings: Protect Against Flu and Whooping Cough
Multimedia Resources from CDC