-- Robert Preidt
WEDNESDAY, June 25, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- One-fifth of
British school-age children who visit their doctors because of a
persistent cough are diagnosed with whooping cough, according to a
What's more, most of the children have been fully vaccinated,
the study authors reported.
"Pertussis [whooping cough] can still be found in a fifth of school-age children who present in primary care with persistent cough and can cause clinically significant cough in fully vaccinated children," Kay Wang, of the University of Oxford, and colleagues wrote in the study published online June 24 in BMJ.
The researchers looked at 279 children, aged 5 to 15, who were
seen by their family doctor about a cough that had lasted two to
Tests showed that 20 percent of the children had evidence of
recent whooping cough infection, including 18 percent who had been
fully vaccinated against the disease.
Children who'd received the preschool pertussis booster
vaccination more than seven years ago were three times more likely
to have pertussis than those who received the booster more
recently. The risk of pertussis was similar for children who
received either a three or five component preschool booster
Children in the United Kingdom receive pertussis vaccinations at
2, 3 and 4 months of age, with another preschool pertussis booster
vaccination three years after completing the initial course,
according to background information in the study.
Before the preschool pertussis booster shot was introduced in
the United Kingdom in 2001, nearly 40 percent of school-age
children with persistent cough were found to have whooping
"These findings will help to inform consideration of the need for an adolescent pertussis booster vaccination in the United Kingdom," the authors concluded.
The U.S. National Library of Medicine has more about
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