METRO SOUTH PUBLIC HEALTH ALERT - Pertussis alert for Brisbane - Ongoing concern (5 February 2016)

Pertussis alert for Brisbane – Ongoing concern

Further to our last pertussis alert in November 2015, we are currently seeing a significant surge in
number of young children diagnosed with confirmed pertussis. Many of these children have been
fully age-appropriately vaccinated.

What can be done now?

• Have a high clinical index of suspicion for pertussis in children (and others) presenting with a
coughing illness – even if they have been fully vaccinated.
• Carry out appropriate diagnostic testing for suspected cases.
(PCR on nasopharyngeal aspirate or swab – particularly in the first 3 weeks of cough – using
a DacronTM or rayon tipped swab, transported dry)
• Treat cases and provide prophylaxis to appropriate contacts using correct antibiotics.
(See the attached summary advice, and refer to the National pertussis guidelines for details)
• Advocate for and provide additional booster vaccination with a pertussis containing vaccine at
18 months of age.
: This is recommended by the current Australian Immunisation Handbook (10th ed., p. 308),
but currently not funded by the National Immunisation Program, although this is expected to
change soon (date to be announced).
• Provide pertussis vaccination (dTpa, AdacelTM funded program) to pregnant women at 28-32
weeks of gestation of each pregnancy.
• Provide booster vaccinations to other adults in contact with young children if more than ten
years since their previous dose (as per the Australian Immunisation Handbook).


Australian Immunisation Handbook:


National pertussis guidelines:
Pertussis immunity from the disease and/or immunisation is not long-lasting.