February 2004

Can Preparedness for Biological Terrorism Save Us From Pertussis?

Author Affiliations

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Copyright 2004 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.2004

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(2):106-107. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.2.106

After the introduction of pertussis vaccine in the 1940s, pertussis in the United States decreased from approximately 150 cases per 100 000 population and 5000 to 10 000 deaths per year to approximately 1 case per 100 000 population from 1980 to 1990.1 Since then, there has been a gradual but steady resurgence in pertussis cases. Pertussis can cause substantial illness in all age groups, but the burden of disease remains greatest among infants who are at highest risk for severe illness. Management and control of pertussis remains a constant challenge for both clinicians and public health agencies.1,2

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