Pertussis in Poland in 2021
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Zakład Epidemiologii Chorób Zakaźnych i Nadzoru, Narodowy Instytut Zdrowia Publicznego PZH – Państwowy Instytut Badawczy
Acceptance date: 2023-11-21
Publication date: 2024-03-14
Przegl Epidemiol 2023;77(3):372-380
Introduction: The epidemiological situation of pertussis in Poland in 2021 was significantly influenced by restrictions on social contacts and the obligation to wear masks in public areas introduced during the pandemic in order to reduce the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The most effective strategy for preventing pertussis is still immunization of children in accordance with the Protective Vaccination Program, and in the case of adults, vaccination repeated systematically every 10 years. Pertussis remains a public health problem because immunity from vaccination does not last for life. Objectives: The aim of the study was to assess the epidemiological situation of pertussis in Poland in 2021 compared to the situation in previous years, with particular emphasis on assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and assessing the vaccination status of children against pertussis. Material and Methods: The assessment of the epidemiological situation of pertussis in Poland was based on the results of the analysis of individual reports on pertussis cases registered in the NIPH NIH – NRI in the EpiBase system and data from the annual bulletins “Infectious diseases and poisonings in Poland” and the bulletin “Vaccinations in Poland in 2021“. Results: In 2021, 182 cases of pertussis were recorded. The incidence was 0.48/100,000 and was lower by 76% compared to the incidence in 2020. The highest incidence of pertussis occurred in children aged 0-4 years (3.9/100,000), and the highest incidence was in children aged 5-9 years (1.2/100,000). About 40% of cases occurred in people over 15 years of age. In general, a higher incidence was observed in men compared to women, and a similar incidence was observed in urban and rural areas. In 2021, among people with pertussis, 96 (53%) required hospitalization. In 2021, the vaccination rate for children under 2 years of age with 4 doses of pertussis vaccine, the overall rate was 96.3%. In 2021, no death due to pertussis was reported in the epidemiological surveillance system. Summary and Conclusions: In Poland, in 2021, the lowest number of pertussis cases was recorded in over 30 years, probably due to the maintenance of restrictions on social contacts and the obligation to wear masks during the pandemic. An increase in the number of people susceptible to pertussis may lead to compensatory epidemics in the future, therefore high levels of vaccination of the population (above 95%) should be maintained to prevent new cases of the disease.
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