Whooping cough outbreak in Guadalajara affects 124 people, most of them children | Society

Castilla-La Mancha said Thursday that 124 people, almost all children, have been affected in recent weeks by a whooping cough outbreak that is still active in the community. In a press release, the Ministry of Health said on Thursday that the cases included six adults, and two cases were identified in schools in the Community of Madrid.

This community indicated that contact testing was conducted in all cases (family, school, and out-of-school), and chemoprophylaxis and full vaccination were recommended when deemed appropriate. In addition, an information note has been sent to educational centers and those where the victims conduct extra-curricular activities, as well as to parents.

Whooping cough is an infectious disease caused by bacteria Bordetella whooping cough, which is highly contagious through the respiratory tract and poses a serious risk to unvaccinated infants as well as immunocompromised people. Symptoms appear in two successive phases. During the first period, which usually lasts one or two weeks, it is easy to confuse it with a cold or other respiratory infections because it causes nasal congestion, low fever and an occasional mild cough. It is from the second week that the most serious symptoms begin, especially rapid, severe and uncontrollable coughing attacks.

The current outbreak is part of a marked increase in cases that has occurred across virtually all of Spain and other European countries since June last year, which experts attribute largely to a drop in circulation of the pathogen during the pandemic. caused the loss of natural immunity of the population.

According to the Weekly Epidemiological Bulletin of the Carlos III Institute of Health, more than 2,200 cases of whooping cough were reported in Spain in 2023, almost 10 times more than in the previous year. Strikingly, because the disease has a seasonal component, with more cases occurring in the spring and summer, the onset of winter in this season was not accompanied by a decrease in the circulation of the bacteria that causes the disease. In the first week of 2024 alone, according to the same bulletin, communities reported 73 cases, up from three in the same period last year.

The Castile-La Mancha Health Ministry stressed that authorities insist on the importance of vaccination as a key strategy to protect against this type of disease, as well as following public health instructions for confirmed cases and contacts. He also noted that experts have confirmed an increase in whooping cough cases since the Covid-19 pandemic, both in Spain and abroad.

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