China Witnessing Deadly Whooping Cough Outbreak; 13 Died. Is The World In Danger?

Currently, whooping cough is a major concern in China. The cases have risen tremendously, resulting in a dozen deaths in the country, as reported by The Economic Times.

In the first two months of this year, 2024, the cases of whooping cough have surged 20-fold. This is similar to the 2020 Covid-19 outbreak which later infected the world, taking millions of lives.

In January and February 2024, China reported a total of 32,380 cases of whooping cough, which in medical terms is known as pertussis.

According to the National Disease Control and Prevention Administration, the number of pertussis cases recorded in 2023 was 1,421. Around 13 people lost their lives then.

Countries like the UK and US witnessed outbreaks, and countries like the Netherlands, Czech Republic, and the Philippines witnessed deaths due to whooping cough.

The early detection of whooping cough is difficult and can be fatal as well, particularly in babies and children. This week, the Philippines stated that 54 deaths have been reported from January to March 2024, and the figure of infection is 34 times higher than that recorded in 2023

Whooping Cough Vaccination, Symptoms and Causes in China

Whooping cough is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is a highly contagious disease targeting the upper respiratory system. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Bordetella pertussis causes the airways to swell up by releasing toxins.

Some of the early symptoms of whooping cough are a mild cough, low-grade fever, and a stuffy nose. After one or two weeks, the symptoms exacerbate, causing “rapid, violent, and uncontrolled coughing fits,” according to the CDC, accompanied by a high-pitched “whoop” sound upon inhalation at the end of the fit. Coughing fits can go on for up to 10 weeks.

According to TimesNow, China offers free vaccines to infants in a combined shot to protect them against tetanus and diphtheria. In the US, one vaccine is available for people above seven years, and another is available for people below seven years.

According to the WHO, whooping cough is a significant cause of concern among infants, leading to their demise. Thus, it’s a public health concern worldwide despite high vaccination rates.

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Subhashree Panda

Subhashree Panda: A proficient content writer, editor, and researcher. With 4 years of experience and an MBA in finance, she crafts compelling narratives on global events. Her passion for diverse journalism genres resonates widely, fostering broad audience connections.

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