Whooping cough cases will double this year by 13 cases in 2023

Whooping cough cases will double this year by 13 cases in 2023

In addition, the epidemic curves of whooping cough are long, so Salot says there are still “a few months, maybe a few months” before the extreme peak is reached. To give an idea of ​​how it is increasing, between January and February of 2024, health reported 2,284 cases. A month later, there were already 7,230. However, the Ministry, which insists on strengthening vaccination against whooping cough, points out that the epidemic does not constitute a burden on the health system and does not pose a serious challenge to public health. In fact, most cases are mild.

But you have to pay attention to that. Last month, in Catalonia, a child less than a month old was hospitalized due to this infectious disease. He has recovered satisfactorily, according to Salut. No deaths have been recorded in Catalonia so far. In Spain, an infant whose mother was not vaccinated during pregnancy died of whooping cough last year, according to a report by the National Center of Epidemiology (CNE) of the Carlos III Institute of Health, which was published by El País newspaper two days ago. .

An Aspcat document released on Wednesday specifies that of the 7,230 cases of pertussis reported since the beginning of the year, 4,650 (59%) were microbiologically confirmed by PCR testing or by epidemiological association. Of these 4,560, a total of 14 were hospitalized, and one (child under one year) was hospitalized. Thus, of all infections, only 0.3% required hospitalization, which reflects the low health impact of whooping cough compared to other epidemics such as bronchiolitis, which in 2022 led to the saturation of pediatric wards.

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The increase in pertussis cases occurred mainly in the 10- to 14-year-old age group (with a total of 2,844 cases), followed by the 15- to 49-year-old age group (1,821 cases) and for children 5 to 9 years of age. One year (1,237 cases). Most outbreaks occur in schools, followed by family settings.

In the Catalan capital, the Barcelona Public Health Agency (Aspb) has so far recorded a total of 337 cases, according to the latest data updated on March 24, compared to 67 in the whole of 2023.

Valis is a child

Whooping cough is an acute, highly contagious bacterial infection of the respiratory tract. It is considered an endemic disease worldwide, with epidemic outbreaks occurring every three to five years. As Deputy Director General for Public Health Surveillance and Emergency Response, Jacopo Mendioros, explains, after the Covid pandemic, there are more people “vulnerable” to infection. It occurs with most infectious diseases, such as measles. “Not only in Catalonia, but in all of Europe,” Mandauros points out.

Epidemiological surveillance teams are seeing more cases in the provinces of Valles and Lleida, partly due to areas that are “better informed,” explains Mendioros. He insists that “the trend is the same everywhere,” and although he answers that it is “difficult” to predict, he warns that whooping cough curves can be “long.” “We may have a few months, maybe a few months, before we reach the limit,” explains this epidemiologist.

Whooping cough affects people of any age. In the city of Barcelona, ​​for example, according to ASPB figures, the second most affected group after children aged 10-14 are those over 30 years old. – Minors must be vaccinated [aquesta vacuna es posa als 2, 4 i 11 mesos, i després hi ha un record als sis anys] And for pregnant women to transfer antibodies to the fetus.”

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“One of the consequences of Covid has been the loss of many vaccination schedules. Pertussis is particularly worrying in terms of deaths in very young infants,” explains pediatrician Gonzalo Pin, who insists on a return to pre-pandemic vaccination rates. “Although Spain is one of the countries with the best vaccination schedules, what is happening is a problem with the vaccination rate, not vaccine failure,” he says.

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