“We have a resurgence of whooping cough” in Alsace, according to a medical biologist

“We have a resurgence of whooping cough” in Alsace, according to a medical biologist
“We have a resurgence of whooping cough” in Alsace, according to a medical biologist

The last peak in the number of pertussis cases was in 2017-2018. But since the start of 2024, more than 6,000 cases have been detected in France, including in Alsace. Very disease contagious in the first days, it can be dangerous for certain people including very young babies. A vaccine exists to protect against it but adults are less systematic about it.

Children vaccinated but not adults

In his pediatric practice, Yves Alembik does not encounter that many cases of whooping cough on a daily basis. But he still notes that adults do not always renew their vaccines: “That’s the problem. Children are well vaccinated, but adults and the elderly are often no longer vaccinated against whooping cough. explains the Strasbourg pediatrician.

This morning I saw a child vaccinated, I asked the parents if they were, they told me no“, recounts the doctor to explain, according to him, the increase in the number of cases of whooping cough. At 37 years old, both parents had not not been vaccinated against whooping cough since they were 11I prescribed them vaccines which they will take at their GP“, says the doctor who does not particularly notice a whooping cough epidemic.

The most vulnerable are infants, pregnant women and the elderly

It is the opposite on the side of Doctor Lionel Barrand, who notes a increase in cases in Alsace. “We have peaks approximately every 5 years so probably we have a little lower immunity against whooping cough this year, there are probably other parameters which intervene but we do not know everything“, explains Doctor Lionel Barrand, a biologist in Strasbourg. According to him, if this continues, there is a risk of an increase in “fragility”.

The most vulnerable populations are infants under 6 months old,”because we know that this is where we can make serious shapes“, explains the doctor, but also pregnant women and the elderly. It is therefore recommended to renew your vaccine regularly and get tested when in contact with these populations: “the more you are vaccinated, the less risk you have of whooping cough“, he summarizes.

Symptoms: coughing fits for months

Whooping cough is “the 100-day illness, a cough causes coughing in fits, which does not stop, which can cause vomiting because it is so violent and which lasts several months” explains Yves Alembik who also warns of another “huge” epidemic, that of mycoplasmawhose symptoms also involve a strong cough after a few days of fever.

Whooping cough is a very contagiousit is estimated that a sick person can contaminate more than 15 people, and contagiousness is maximum during the first week of coughing“, but if it is detected, it can be quickly treated with antibiotics. “We can screen ourselves with a PCR test for example“, insists the doctor, “and it must be done because whooping cough still kills today, it is not a benign pathology“.

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