The 100 Day Office Cough you could have stopped…
Whooping cough (Pertussis) is a highly infectious respiratory illness that you can catch multiple times in your life over again. It leads to a notorious chronic cough that often lasts beyond 3 months (1) (the Chinese call it the 100 Day Cough!).
“Even in adults, pertussis can be associated with significant morbidity, with cough persisting for up to 3 months, and other significant symptoms, such as sleep disturbance or, rarely, rib fracture”. (1).
Despite a long-standing immunisation program, pertussis remains highly prevalent in Australia and the least well controlled of all vaccine-preventable diseases (1). Epidemics occur every 3 to 4 years (1). Failure to vaccinate is really taking a gamble on this illness which is frequently occurring throughout the year.
Much to many people’s misconception, the pertussis illness (Whooping Cough) is not guaranteed to improve or stop with antibiotics (1). It simply reduces the infectivity to limit spread to others (1).
Pertussis can be exceptionally devastating to those vulnerable populations, and time off work along with backtracking staff movements in accordance with Public Health Requirements is a frustration most workplaces can do without. Vaccine immunity usually wanes around 5-10 years (like Tetanus) (1). Those working with young children or vulnerable populations are encouraged to maintain vaccinations every 5 years. It can also be administered combined with a Tetanus Booster.
1). The Australian Immunisation Handbook, Part 4.12 Pertussis. Current edition