Time in Yerevan: 11:07,   22 April 2024

Specialist urges vaccination as whooping cough cases surge

Specialist urges vaccination as whooping cough cases surge

YEREVAN, 28 FEBRUARY, ARMENPRESS. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), approximately 40 million people worldwide contract whooping cough annually, resulting in 300 thousand fatalities. In 2023, Armenia recorded 50 cases of whooping cough, with an additional 12 cases reported during January-February 2024.

Pediatrician Brigida Simonyan from the Department of Epidemiology of Immunoprevention and Controlled Infectious Diseases at the National Center for Disease Control and Prevention emphasized these figures in an interview with Armenpress, underscoring that nearly half of the patients affected are children under one year old.

Whooping cough, characterized as an acute infectious illness, spreads through airborne droplets.

“The illness starts with symptoms such as general weakness, coughing, and fever. As it progresses, the cough becomes paroxysmal, meaning it occurs in cycles, leading to a complex course of the disease. It is particularly severe for infants under the age of one. In this group, the cough can escalate to respiratory arrest. Whooping cough presents complications like pneumonia, bronchitis, and additional conditions. Following this phase, a general improvement stage ensues. The typical illness can persist for 8 weeks or longer," stated the specialist.

According to Simonyan, the illness follows a cyclical pattern, and epidemiologically, there is a resurgence observed every 2-5 years worldwide, including in Armenia. The increase is associated with the growing number of unvaccinated and partially vaccinated individuals.

“Such resurgence of whooping cough was recorded in Armenia in 2009, 2013-2014, 2017-2018, and since 2019 it has decreased according to the same pattern, but it increased again in 2023.

According to the pattern, we can expect a rise in the disease until the end of 2024, followed by a subsequent decrease," noted the specialist.

Pediatrician Brigida Simonyan from the Department of Epidemiology reiterated the importance of vaccination as the only safe and effective measure to prevent whooping cough. Effective prevention of the disease and its complications relies solely on timely and fully administered vaccinations.

Gayane Gaboyan


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