Wednesday, September 5, 2018

PRO/EDR> Pertussis (09): USA, Italy, Australia, South Africa

A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases

In this posting:
[1] Alabama (Shelby & Jefferson Counties)
[2] Colorado (Mesa county)

[3] Lombardy (Bergamo)

[4] Western Australia

South Africa
[5] National

[Note that while many of these reports are from last month, they
reflect our increasing trend to put out monthly updates on pertussis
if there are no special circumstances that would warrant more rapid
reporting. - Mods. MPP/ML]

[1] Alabama (Shelby & Jefferson counties)
Date: Fri 3 Aug 2018
Source: Trussville Tribune [edited]

The Alabama Department of Public Health [ADPH] is investigating an
outbreak of pertussis, or whooping cough, in several facilities
located in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

According to the ADPH, 9 children have been confirmed as testing
positive for the illness, with 22 people reported to have
pertussis-like illness. These cases were reported after visiting
facilities and events in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

These are: Shades Valley Community Church in Jefferson county from [1
Jun-15 Jul 2018]; YMCA Legacy Day Camp in Jefferson county from [4-8
Jun 2018]; Church of the Highlands (Grants Mill location) in Jefferson
County from [27 Jun-22 Jul 2018]; Church of the Highlands (Greystone
location) in Shelby County from [28 Jun-19 Jul 2018]; YMCA (Greystone)
in Shelby County from [4-14 Jul 2018]; Mount Laurel Elementary Summer
Singers Camp in Shelby County from [9-13 Jul 2018]; Mount Laurel
Library in Shelby County on [16 Jul 2018]; and Winshape Camp at Double
Oak Community Church in Shelby County from [16-20 July 2018].

The ADPH advises those who have been to the facilities in Jefferson
and Shelby counties to contact their doctor and to fill out the
pertussis questionnaire.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Alabama can be seen at
<>. Jefferson county, with a
population of 658 466 residents, is the most populous county in the US
state of Alabama; its county seat is the city of Birmingham
(<,_Alabama>). Shelby
county, with a population of 195 085 residents, is located immediately
southeast of Jefferson county in the state of Alabama
(<,_Alabama>). A map of
Alabama counties can be found at
<>. - Mod.ML]

[2] Colorado (Mesa county)
Date: Mon 30 Jul 2018 6:00 PM MDT
Source: KKCO/KJCT [edited]

Mesa County Public Health Department says the number of whooping cough
[pertussis] cases this year [2018] is one of the worst yet and
continues to grow. "It's a highly contagious respiratory illness,"
said Katie Nelson with Mesa County Public Health. "As of [20 Jul 2018]
we have had 23 cases of whooping cough," said Nelson. That's
significant because it brings us to the same number of cases we saw
throughout the entire year in 2017.

Mesa county has seen more cases in 2017 and 2018 than in any other
year for the past 5 years. In 2013 we had 10 cases; in 2014 there were
19; in 2015 there were 9; in 2016 there were 11; and in 2017 there
were 23 cases.

"Unfortunately an infant in California did die due to whooping cough,"
said Nelson.

It's a huge worry for local parents. [...]

Mesa County Public Health wants all residents, especially pregnant
mothers and those around children, to make sure they are up to date on
their immunizations. "It can be fatal for infants and young children
their lungs are still developing so diseases like this are really hard
for them and their little bodies," said Nelson.


So cover the cough, wash your hands, and stay home if you're sick.
Mesa County Public Health [hosted] a couple back to school vaccination
clinics including whooping cough immunizations [on 4 and 8 Aug 2018].

[Byline: Stephanie Bennett]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Colorado can be seen at
<>. Mesa county, with a population
of 146 723 residents, is located in the US state of Colorado; the
county seat is the city of Grand Junction
(<,_Colorado>). A map of Mesa
county can be found at <>. - Mod.ML]

[3] Lombardy (Bergamo)
Date: Fri 3 Aug 2018 10:20 CEST
Source: The Local [edited]

Local media reported on [Thu 2 Aug 2018] that 2 newborn babies have
died of whooping cough in Bergamo near Milan. The children were born
in May and June [2018], and died in a neonatal intensive care unit
around a month after their birth. They had been born and received
initial treatment in 2 different hospitals and were transferred to the
neonatal unit at the Papa Giovanni XXIII hospital after being
diagnosed with whooping cough.

Lombardy's Councillor for Welfare, Giulio Gallera, confirmed that the
2 cases occurred at different times and geographical locations, but
said: "There is no outbreak [of the disease] in the Bergamo area. The
only protection remains the vaccination of mothers."

He said that an already planned campaign would begin the [week of 6
Aug 2018] in Bergamo to raise awareness of the recommended vaccines
for pregnant women, which include the whooping cough vaccine. Neither
of their mothers had had difficulties during their pregnancy or
childbirth, but neither had been vaccinated against the disease, l'Eco
di Bergamo reported. Tests showed that the women had also suffered
from whooping cough, which had not been diagnosed -- in adults, the
symptoms of the disease can be similar to those of a common cold or
flu virus.

The whooping cough inoculation was also among 10 made compulsory for
Italian children starting at a state school in a controversial law
passed last year [2017]. Parents had been set a July [2018] deadline
to supply schools with doctor's notes proving the vaccination, but the
new health minister said that a confirmation from parents would be

This raised concerns from some, including Italy's National Health
Institute, that it would be impossible to prove the children had
received the inoculation, but Health Minister Giulia Grillo stressed
that parents should not make false declarations.

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Italy can be seen at
<>. Bergamo, with a population of
about 120 000, is the 4th-largest city in Lombardy, northern Italy,
approximately 40 km (25 mi) northeast of Milan in the foothills of the
Bergamo Alps north of the city
(<>). A map showing the location
of Bergamo can be found at <>. -

[4] Western Australia
Date: Mon 6 Aug 2018 6:13 AM AWST
Source: The West Australian [edited]

An outbreak of whooping cough in Margaret River has led medical
experts to remind people to update their vaccinations. 9 cases of
whooping cough have hit the popular WA [Western Australia] tourist
town within the past 2 months.

The illness, which can be fatal for very young babies and children,
can be vaccinated against, and news of the cluster of Margaret River
cases comes as it was revealed the tourist town was a "hot spot" for
low vaccination rates in the under 5s.

WA Country Health public health physician Dr Clare Huppatz predicted
there were likely to be more people suffering from whooping cough in
the region who had not been diagnosed. "What we see in Margaret River,
is what we see in most of the state, and that is from time to time we
have an increase or cluster of cases," she said. "That is because it
is a disease which is easily transmitted from droplets spread through
coughing. So people who are not vaccinated or waning immunity are more
likely to get it."

Under the WA schedule, children are due to be vaccinated between 6 and
8 weeks old, 4 months and 6 months, before they have a booster shot at
3.5 years old and in year 8. Pregnant women can get a free vaccine
shot during their 3rd trimester. Dr Huppatz said although the vaccine
was not "perfect" it was proven to help stop the spread among infants.
"Those newborn kids, who cannot be vaccinated, can end up in hospital
and with a serious disease," she said. "So everyone getting vaccinated
helps protect them."

In March 2018, Health Department figures showed the number of cases of
whooping cough in WA had fallen 20 per cent since the tragic death of
[a] baby 3 years ago. [The baby] was only 32 days old when he died in
March 2015 from whooping cough complications, prompting his parents to
successfully campaign for a free vaccine for pregnant women in WA. At
the time, [the baby's] mum, director of the Immunisation Foundation of
Australia, said it was reassuring whooping cough in WA was declining.
But she said no one could afford to be complacent because the disease
still posed a real risk to babies and young children, particularly if
they were not immunised.

[Byline: Mitchell Woodcock]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of Australia can be seen at
<>. Western Australia, Australia's
largest state, occupies the entire western 1/3 of Australia; the state
has about 2.6 million residents, of whom the vast majority (92
percent) live in the south-west corner, 73 percent of the population
living in the Perth area
(<>). Margaret River is
a town, with a population of about 4400 residents, located 277 km (172
mi) south of the city of Perth, the state capital, in the Margaret
River valley, a wine region; the Indian Ocean coast, 9 km (6 mi) west
of the town, is a renowned surfing location
(<,_Western_Australia>). -

South Africa
[5] National
Date: Wed 22 Aug 2018 3:14 PM SAST
Source: IOL (Independent Online, South Africa) [edited]

If you've had a particularly bad cough while suffering from the flu,
you could have been one of the many people badly affected by
"pertussis", otherwise known as whooping cough.

The [South Africa] National Institute of Communicable Diseases (NICD)
reported that there has been an increase in confirmed cases of
whooping cough among children under the age of 5 [years], across the

"Pertussis, commonly known as 'whooping cough' is a
vaccine-preventable disease caused by _Bordetella pertussis_ and is
notifiable according to the Health Act. An increase in pertussis cases
has been reported from sites in kZN [KwaZulu-Natal], Western Cape,
Gauteng, Mpumalanga, and North West.

Of the [37] pertussis cases identified between May and July 2018, 20
(54 percent) were aged under 3 months.

These sites form part of a pneumonia surveillance programme.

"Clinicians are advised to be on the alert for cases, to conduct
diagnostic testing where appropriate, to notify cases and prescribe
post-exposure prophylaxis to close and high-risk contacts of suspected
or confirmed cases," said the NICD in a statement.

[Byline: Arthi Gopi]

Communicated by:
ProMED-mail from HealthMap Alerts

[A HealthMap/ProMED-mail map of South Africa can be seen at
<>. South Africa is the southernmost
country in Africa; its 9 provinces can be found on a map at
<>. - Mod.ML]

[See Also:
Pertussis (08): Australia, USA, Canada, Dominican Republic
Pertussis (07): USA
Pertussis (06): USA, Australia
Pertussis (05): USA, China
Pertussis (04): USA, Armenia, Australia, New Zealand
Pertussis (03): USA, Nigeria, Australia, Indonesia
Pertussis (02): USA, Venezuela, New Zealand
Pertussis (01): USA, Austria, New Zealand
Pertussis (12): USA, Canada
Pertussis (11): USA, Australia, New Zealand, Canada
Pertussis (10): Canada, USA, Australia
Pertussis (09): USA, Canada
Pertussis (08): Malaysia, USA, Canada
Pertussis (07): USA, France, Canada
Pertussis (06): USA, Canada
Pertussis (05): New Zealand, USA, Australia, Spain
Pertussis (04): Canada, USA
Pertussis (03): USA, Australia
Pertussis (02): USA, maternal immunization
Pertussis - USA (01): (WI)
Pertussis - USA (08): (NM)
Pertussis - USA (07): (CA) increased incidence, middle & high schools
Pertussis - USA (06)
Pertussis - USA (05): (MN, OK) increasing incidence
Pertussis - USA (04): (CA) increasing incidence, corr
Pertussis - USA (04): (CA) increasing incidence
Pertussis - USA (03): (CA) fatal
Pertussis - USA (02): (NY)
Pertussis - USA (01)
Pertussis - USA: (CA) fatal]
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