The number of pertussis cases in England increased by a third in the first quarter of this year compared with the same period last year.
Between January 2020 and March 2020, there were 801 laboratory-confirmed cases of pertussis (culture, PCR, serology or oral fluid) reported to the Public Health England pertussis enhanced surveillance programme. This compares to 604 cases between January 2019 and March 2019.
The greatest number of cases continues to be individuals aged 15 years and over, although the highest disease incidence continues to be in infants aged under three months.
The number of cases in infants under three months, who are targeted by the maternal immunisation programme, continues to remain low, with 15 cases in this quarter compared with 12 cases in the same quarter in 2019.
Low numbers were reported in infants aged three months to five months (five cases) and six months 11 months (four cases), consistent with protection from primary vaccination offered at two, three and four months of age.
There were no reported deaths in infants with pertussis between January 2020 and March 2020.
Pertussis vaccine coverage in pregnant women averaged 72.2 per cent across the period from January 2020 to March 2020 quarter, 1.1 per cent higher than coverage for the same quarter in 2018/2019.