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Volume 52, Number 4, August 2019

Resurgence of pertussis in Taiwan during 2009–2015 and its impact on infants 

I-Fan Chang, Ping-Ing Lee, Chun-Yi Lu, Jong-Min Chen, Li-Min Huang, Luan-Yin Chang


Background and purpose: 

Pertussis incidence markedly decreased due to universal vaccination, but outbreaks had been noted worldwide in recent decade. This study was conducted to know the epidemiology of pertussis and its impact on infants in Taiwan. 



Epidemiologic parameters for confirmed pertussis cases were collected from the Taiwan Centers for Disease Control. The incidence of each age group over years was calculated using population data. We also did retrospective reviews of laboratory-confirmed pertussis cases in NTUH to analyze clinical characteristics and disease severity. 



A total of 668 confirmed pertussis cases were obtained from the Taiwan CDC open database between 2003 and 2017. There was higher incidence during the period 2009–2015, with a mean incidence of 0.27 cases per 100,000 population, about 2-fold increase compared with mean incidence of 0.12 cases per 100,000 population during the period 2003–2008. Infants accounted for the highest proportion of all cases (49.8%), with mean incidence of 16.1 cases per 100,000 people per year during 2009–2015, and a trend of increase was found from 2003 to 2015. In NTUH, a total of 17 laboratory-confirmed pertussis cases were diagnosed during 2012–2016, and 14 cases were young infants. Among them, 9 infants had been admitted to intensive care unit and 2 infant needed invasive ventilator support. 



There was a resurgence of pertussis during 2009–2015 and it had significant impact on infants. Young infants with pertussis may be severe and need intensive care, so preventive strategy may be advocated for them. 


Key words:

EpidemiologyInfantMaternal immunizationPertussis