What is the worldwide incidence of pertussis (whooping cough)?

Updated: May 02, 2019
  • Author: Joseph J Bocka, MD; Chief Editor: Russell W Steele, MD  more...
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The annual worldwide incidence of pertussis is estimated to be 48.5 million cases, with a mortality rate of nearly 295,000 deaths per year. [23] The case-fatality rate among infants in low-income countries may be as high as 4%. [24]

In England, the percentage of people vaccinated for pertussis over the last 4 decades has decreased to less than 30%. This decline has resulted in thousands of recently reported cases of the disease, with the incidence rate approaching that of the prevaccination era. Similar epidemic outbreaks have recently occurred in Sweden, Canada, and Germany. Nearly 300,000 deaths from pertussis are thought to have occurred in Africa over the last decade.

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