Pertussis Update

Pertussis Update
Posted on 11/21/2018
From January 1 to October 31, 2018, Lane County Public Health has investigated 228 confirmed and presumptive cases of pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Additionally, we have investigated dozens of suspect cases. The number of cases reported this year far exceeds the number of annual cases reported in the previous ten years.
graph of pertussis case counts by year

Most of the reported cases in 2018 are in the 10-19 year age range; however there have been 9 cases among infants (less than one year old).
Pertussis case counts by age

During the 2017-2018 school year, there were over 30 schools in Lane County with confirmed and presumptive cases of pertussis. Eight of these schools met the criteria for outbreak exclusion, meaning that sick children as well as un- and under-vaccinated children were excluded from the classroom for a period as a control measure. Because the outbreak is ongoing and final estimates are not available, we do not yet have information about the percentage of students who contracted pertussis who were up-to-date on vaccinations. However, from previous outbreaks in Oregon, we know that unvaccinated and partially vaccinated children are more likely to contract pertussis and to suffer severe consequences of infection.