The number of cases is 23 times that of the same period last year. Four questions about whooping cough prevention and control

April 1, 2024 10:52 Sina News Comprehensive
  Source: People's Daily Health

  (People's Daily Health Client Wang Yuan) "My child started coughing last week, especially at night. He drank cough medicine for three days, but there was no sign of relief. I went to the hospital for a check-up and it was confirmed that it was whooping cough." Ms. Wu from Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province told People's Daily Health Client. Recently, the "reappearance of whooping cough" has attracted social attention and once became a hot search topic.

  According to the "Overview of the National Notifiable Infectious Diseases Epidemic" on the official website of the National Administration of Disease Control and Prevention, from January 1 to February 29, 2024, 32,380 cases of pertussis were reported nationwide, which was nearly 23 times the number in the same period in 2023 (1,421 cases). There were also 13 deaths.

  Why doesn’t my cough heal for a long time?

  According to the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, whooping cough is an acute respiratory infectious disease caused by Bordetella pertussis. Clinically, it is characterized by paroxysmal, spasmodic cough, and inspiratory roar like a cock's crow. The disease initially looks like a cold, and atypical cases may be asymptomatic or only have a mild cough and low-grade fever. The course of the disease can last as long as 2-3 months, hence the name whooping cough.

  Why can I still get infected after being vaccinated?

  Wang Yingshuo, director of the outpatient department of the Children's Hospital of Zhejiang University School of Medicine, said that the DPT vaccine currently used in China can only be used for children under 7 years old. The protective effects of protective antibodies produced by vaccinations in children decrease with age . It is one of the important reasons leading to the significant increase in the incidence rate among adolescents and adults.

  In addition, changes in pertussis strains that induce immune evasion from vaccines, as well as improvements in pertussis diagnosis, have led to an increasing trend in the global incidence of pertussis in recent years.

  Does azithromycin work?

  As for the treatment of whooping cough, Wang Yingshuo told the People's Daily Health Client that the currently recommended treatment is macrolide antibiotics, such as azithromycin, erythromycin, roxithromycin or clarithromycin. Oral medication can be chosen for mild cases, but hospitalization may be required for severe cases or complications.

  "But there are also some children who do not have good results after using macrolide drugs. They may be infected with drug-resistant strains, and doctors will switch to sulfa drugs for treatment." Wang Yingshuo reminded.

  How to make your child get better quickly?

  “The troublesome thing about treating whooping cough is that once the child gets sick, if there is no timely diagnosis and treatment, the child will not only have to go through a recovery period of up to two to three months, but also suffer from repeated coughing, and his rest, diet, growth and development will be greatly interfered with. "Tang Qiuyu, deputy director of the Respiratory Department of Fujian Provincial Children's Hospital, previously told the People's Daily Health Client that whooping cough requires early diagnosis and early treatment, which can generally effectively shorten the course of the disease to 2 to 3 weeks.

  Tang Qiuyu reminded parents that the most common diagnostic method is pertussis nucleic acid testing. If a child develops typical symptoms such as cough, fever, sore throat, etc., they should take the child to the hospital as soon as possible and cooperate with the doctor for treatment.