The role of adults in household outbreaks of pertussis

Baptista, PN; Magalhaes, VS; Rodrigues, LC; (2010) The role of adults in household outbreaks of pertussis. International journal of infectious diseases, 14 (2). E111-E114. ISSN 1201-9712 DOI:

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Objectives: This study describes the role of adults in 57 household outbreaks of pertussis. Methods: Parents/guardians of children with suspected pertussis seen at a university hospital were interviewed. Once a case of pertussis was confirmed, all household members were enrolled in the study. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) definitions for pertussis were used. Results: Among 349 household members, 150 were adults and one in five had pertussis during the household outbreaks. Of the adult cases, 70.6% were aged 19-39 years. The secondary attack rate in adults was 12.6%. Adults were the primary case in a 21.1% of households, resulting in 43% of all secondary cases. Most adult cases had typical symptoms of pertussis, but none had been diagnosed before the investigation. Conclusions: Adults, particularly those aged between 19 and 39 years, play an important role in pertussis transmission in households. Pertussis vaccination in adolescents/young adults may decrease the dissemination of pertussis in households. (C) 2009 International Society for Infectious Diseases. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Bordetella pertussis, Whooping cough, Transmission, Adults, Vaccination, Household contact, bordetella-pertussis, persistent cough, transmission, infection, vaccine, epidemiology, population, prevention, exposure, coverage
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
Research Centre: Centre for Maternal, Reproductive and Child Health (MARCH)
Centre for Global Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs)
Vaccine Centre
PubMed ID: 19559636
Web of Science ID: 275513100004


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