“Most whooping cough cases are from vaccinated students.”

“Most whooping cough cases are from vaccinated students.”

Whooping cough leaves more than two isolated centers in Terrassa, where the disease has infected 12 schools in the city. Maria Rosa Sala He confirms that there are no complications, and the cases are mild, and may increase in the coming days. Emphasizing the importance of vaccination and isolation to slow the transmission of infection.

What is the evolution of the whooping cough outbreak in Valles, in particular in Terrassa? The latest evaluation is 205 cases in Terrassa in 2024, all confirmed by microbiological diagnosis. Most of them are mild cases. There are no patients being accepted. Most cases are students who have been vaccinated, but there are also some adults.

What is the status of the twelve schools affected by the outbreak in the city? Have infections increased and has the condition stabilized or is it returning? Not all of the 205 confirmed cases are in schools, there are also cases isolated or clustered in families. The incubation period of the disease is from 4 to 21 days. It is a highly contagious respiratory disease, so more cases are expected.

How many cases are there currently in Catalonia? Currently, in 2024, there will be 455 confirmed cases of whooping cough throughout Catalonia.

What does a whooping cough outbreak respond to? It is the first after the epidemic. Since the end of 2023, various outbreaks of whooping cough have occurred in Catalonia. During the pandemic, infectious diseases, such as whooping cough, may have declined due to measures taken by the coronavirus. On the other hand, before the epidemic, whooping cough occurred periodically every 3 to 5 years. This pattern may be followed now as well.

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What is the origin of the outbreak in Catalonia? Is it known whether infections started in Cerdanyola, where the first outbreaks were detected, or in Terrassa, where nearly half of those infected in Catalonia are currently located? There have been isolated cases and outbreaks in several municipalities. By the time cases are detected and reported to schools and contacts, people are likely to recognize symptoms, go to health centers and be diagnosed with whooping cough. It is very important to inform those affected and their contacts so that they can obtain treatment and stop transmission of the infection. In all schools with patients, families have been informed of the guidelines that must be followed.

Why does Catalonia have 455 infections since January, half the 530 in all of 2023? Until the outbreak of the epidemic, whooping cough was a cyclical disease that spread in the spring and summer. It remains to be seen what the behavior will be from now on.

What measures have been taken by the Epidemiological Surveillance Service in Valles and Terrassa? Do they work? The Epidemiological Surveillance Service is making a great effort to control and register all cases, giving priority to approaching the most vulnerable people, especially children under one year of age and their caregivers. It is very important to diagnose and treat symptomatic patients and protect the most vulnerable people.

Most of those infected are vaccinated children. Is vaccination ineffective? Does it affect that the cases are mild? Effectively, the best preventive measure is the vaccine, therefore, it is also very important to update the vaccination schedule in children and pregnant women, specifically in the 27th and 28th weeks of pregnancy. It is also very important that people with whooping cough isolate themselves at home for five days. When there are cases in the school, a letter is sent to families with all recommendations. I also want to emphasize the importance of collaboration and awareness about diagnosis among all primary care physicians, pediatricians, family physicians, and emergency services.

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Should the figure of 45 outbreaks in Catalonia this year be taken as an indication of an increase in the prevalence of whooping cough next winter? Or could we have a single episode? It is too early to predict what will happen in the future. It will be necessary to see what the disease behavior is from now on. What is certain is that control measures, including diagnosing and treating patients, as well as isolating patients at school or work, go a long way in reducing transmission of this infectious disease. This, and of course vaccination as well.

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