What is the rate of pertussis (whooping cough) in the US?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The rate of pertussis peaked in the 1930s, with 265,269 cases and 7518 deaths reported in the United States. This rate decreased to a low of 1010 cases in the United States, with 4 deaths, in 1976. Starting in the 1980s, however, the reported incidence of US pertussis cases dramatically increased across all age groups. Although the largest increase in pertussis cases has been among adolescents and adults, the annual reported incidence has been highest among infants younger than 1 year. [14]

In 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US pertussis rate reached 27,550 cases (the highest number since 1959), with 27 related deaths. [15, 16]

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