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Pertussis or Whooping Cough Can Lead to Death Essay

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Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by a bacterium, Bordatella pertussis. In 2010 it affected 27, 5501 individuals and was responsible for 262 deaths in the United States. Bordatella pertussis colonizes in the cilia of the respiratory tract3 producing uncontrollable coughing with paroxysms (fits) followed with a high pitched intake of air creating a whoop sound, posttussive emesis (cough induced vomiting), and exhaustion.3 These symptoms can last up to 10 weeks.3 Adults can transfer Pertussis to infants who are not fully immunized, subsequently, they are at a greater risk and may have serious complications from Pertussis including pneumonia and death.4
As illustrated in the
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Also, the analysis depicts the geographic distributions of pertussis mortality across the United States. During 2000-2010, 184 deaths were directly attributed to pertussis, which occurred only in California, Pennsylvania and Texas.2 California had the highest morality rate, at 35 deaths in the ten-year period.2 Notably, the White population of reported pertussis morality was at the highest at 160 of 184 deaths.2 Also, there has been an increase in reported cases in the United Sates, in 2000 there were 12 reported deaths and in 2010 there were 26 deaths.2 94 percent of the pertussis related mortality occurred in infants (less than 1 years old) who are not fully immunized.
The increase in pertussis incidences and morality may include diminished immunity, as childhood pertussis vaccine does not provide lifelong immunity.4 Tdap booster shot at 11 or 12 years old and expected mothers in their third trimester should be given to continue their protective antibodies and those that would be passed to the infant.4 Also, the increased in pertussis may be a decreased usage of the pertussis vaccine, increased doctor awareness and public health reporting.
Limitations to this analysis are pertussis is underdiagnosed and misclassified as severe cold, influenza, or bronchitis.8 Also, mortality could be attributed to secondary infections such as pneumonia, seizure or encephalopathy,8 which
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