Pertussis: Measures of Morbidity and Mortality

Subject: Public Health
Pages: 2
Words: 553
Reading time:
2 min
Study level: College

The highly contagious bacterial illness known as pertussis affects the respiratory tract. A bacterium that may be discovered in an infected person’s mouth, nose, and throat is what causes it. The primary method of transmission for pertussis is inhaling droplets from an infected person’s nose or throat. Even those who just have a minor case of pertussis or those who are asymptomatic can spread the disease. Frequently, parents and older siblings who may be carrying the bacterium bring the illness home and infect a newborn in the family. Along with highly young infants, pertussis may be more challenging to detect in adolescents, adults, or children who have only had a partial vaccination because of their more mild or uncommon symptoms. This work was written with the aim of studying whooping cough disease in an elementary school environment.

Pertussis may strike anyone at any age, and more and more adults and teenagers are getting the diagnosis. Infants younger than one-year-old and teenagers between the ages of 10 and 20 now have the highest rates of pertussis diagnosis (Fry et al., 2021). No of their age, everyone who has not received the necessary number of doses of the pertussis vaccination is at risk. Contrary to illnesses like chicken pox and measles, pertussis can occur more than once in a lifetime because the antibodies produced during an infection or immunization do not persist over time. Children of 10 years of age, who are mainly in the fifth grade, are at risk of whooping cough. This suggests that up to this point, every child should preferably go through the process of immunization.

The prevalence of a disease is the count of instances within a specific population at a given time or over a predetermined amount of time. A helpful indicator of the severity of the illness burden is prevalence. Understanding the demands on health care to treat a particular condition might be aided by being aware of its prevalence. The prevalence varies when a person with the ailment is treated or dies. People should remember that a higher prevalence does not always indicate a more serious issue. A higher prevalence might indicate increased new cases, more extended longevity without treatment, or both. A lower prevalence might indicate a quick recovery, fewer new cases, and a higher death rate than the cure rate.

The incidence of an illness is the frequency with which new cases emerge over time in a given population. The entire length of time that each member of the research group was at risk for the illness during the relevant time period is known as person-years at risk. As opposed to incidence, which is confined to newly discovered cases, prevalence refers to all instances in the population at the stated period. The period during which the disease persists until patients die or are cured, the relationship between prevalence and incidence data.

In conclusion, a person with pertussis might be contagious for four to five weeks after the sickness starts. Treatment with antibiotics, such as erythromycin, can reduce the infection risk to others and minimize the duration of contagiousness. Infants and small children should not be exposed to anyone with pertussis until they receive the appropriate treatment. Another crucial component of prevention is the treatment of those who have been in close contact with pertussis patients.


Fry, N. K., Campbell, H., & Amirthalingam, G. (2021). JMM Profile: Bordetella pertussis and whooping cough (pertussis): are still significant causes of infant morbidity and mortality but are vaccine-preventable. Journal of Medical Microbiology, 70(10). Web.