To describe the epidemiology of infant pertussis in King County, Washington, and to better understand the implications for tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccination among older children, adolescents, and adults.
Retrospective analysis of reported pertussis cases among infants younger than 1 year, January 1, 2002, through December 31, 2007.
King County, Washington.
Reported pertussis cases among infants younger than 1 year between 2002 and 2007.
Main Outcome Measures
Bordetella pertussis from a household member or close contact was the primary exposure. The main outcome measures were age and vaccination status, incidence by race/ethnicity, suspected exposure, and Tdap eligibility of household members and close contacts.
Among 176 confirmed cases of infants with pertussis, the median age was 3 months (age range, 0-11 months); 80.1% were younger than 6 months. Seventy-seven percent were age-appropriately vaccinated. Between 2002 and 2007, the overall mean annual incidence was 136 cases per 100 000 infant population. Compared with a mean annual incidence of 73 cases per 100 000 infant population among whites, the incidence was 246 cases per 100 000 infant population among blacks (rate ratio [RR], 3.37; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.59-4.44) and 194 cases per 100 000 infant population among Hispanics (RR, 2.66; 95% CI, 2.02-3.53). Households were the suspected exposure location for 70.0% of cases. Case households had a median of 3 (range, 1-15) Tdap-eligible persons.
The burden of infant pertussis in King County, Washington, was high between 2002 and 2007, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. Tdap vaccination of eligible household members and close contacts should be promoted as an additional means of protecting infants from pertussis.