Whooping cough continues to grow in Catalonia as the European Union calls for vaccination of pregnant women and children

Evolution of a number Whooping cough cases in Catalonia It continues to rise and has been diagnosed 11,614 in the first four months of the yearAccording to data from the Public Health Agency. Of these cases, 7,758 were microbiologically confirmed.

Whooping cough It is not serious or dangerous, except for children up to six months old. The last significant peak occurred in 2015 with more than 3,500 cases, but it is occurring I hit rock bottom after the pandemic In 2022, with only 64 cases diagnosed.

As is happening in Spain and other European countries, cases have risen significantly since last October in Catalonia. right European Union This Wednesday, the United States called for strengthening the vaccination of children and pregnant women.

Health attributes this increase in cases to the emergence of…A new epidemic wave of whooping coughIt is a cyclical phenomenon that is observed every 3 or 5 years in this disease.

The infection rate in Catalonia is already high 147 cases per 100 thousand people It has grown, above all, due to the increase in infections in the age group from 5 to 14 years, in particular Between the ages of 10 and 14 years.

Since the beginning of the year, the highest infection rate has been recorded In Valles, Central Catalonia and northern Barcelones and Maresmewhile the highest growth corresponds to Provinces of Tarragona.

Revenues are very low and there are no deaths

Reports of outbreaks are also increasing, reaching 659 cases between January and April, with 1,969 people infected. These numbers exceed the total number of outbreaks and affected people reported throughout any of the previous years.

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The 7,758 confirmed cases have been translated into 26 hospitalizations – 4 of them are in the intensive care unit – but all patients recovered and were discharged. The only death due to whooping cough in Catalonia in the past nine years occurred in 2023.

It is worth noting that 3 out of 4 admissions are less than one year oldChildren are specifically the group most at risk of developing serious cases of whooping cough.

Health recommends vaccinating children and pregnant women

During periods of high disease transmission, whooping cough mainly affects infants younger than three or four months old. That is why health reminds us of the need to vaccinate not only organisms, according to the established calendar, but especially For pregnant women, it is preferable to vaccinate newborns between weeks 27 and 32.

The pertussis vaccine is recommended At the ages of 2, 4 and 11 months with reinforcement at 6 years. The World Health Organization is now considering a booster pertussis vaccine for adolescents, as requested by pediatricians and as other countries are already doing.

Vaccination coverage for pregnant women in Catalonia is around 85% (iStock)

The European Union also calls for vaccination

he European Center for Disease Prevention Today, Wednesday, the World Health Organization called for strengthening the vaccination of children and pregnant women against whooping cough due to the increase in detected cases: more than 32,000 cases between January and March of this year, and more than 25,000 cases in 2023.

Health Commissioner Stella Kyriakides warned, in a statement, of the increasing cases of this disease in Europe, which It has increased ten times from previous years He pointed out that it could be “dangerous, especially for children.”

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According to data from the Spanish Center for Epidemiology, they were diagnosed during the first ten weeks of the year 8,260 cases of this infectious disease in SpainMore than half of them are in Catalonia. A fact that the Spanish Pediatric Association (CAV-AEP) attributes to the “diagnostic effort”.

Whooping cough is treated with antibiotics

Whooping cough does not carry significant risks other than a strong, dry, persistent cough It can last up to two months. However, it is a highly contagious respiratory infection that is transmitted through small droplets released from the mouth and nose when you are sick.

First, introduce Symptoms similar to those of the common coldBut then it can lead to bouts of severe coughing and even vomiting, diarrhea and fever.

For this reason, when it is detected Some cases of whooping cough in an educational centerThe protocol established by the Ministry of Health includes notifying families of students who share the classroom with those affected.

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