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Tidsskr Nor Laegeforen. 2006 Jan 26;126(3):305-8.

[Whooping cough--an increasing problem in Norway].

[Article in Norwegian]

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Mikrobiologisk avdeling, Akershus universitetssykehus, 1478 Lørenskog.



The incidence of whooping cough has increased in recent years in Norway, especially amongst older children and adults; in 2004 it was 168/100,000.


This article is based on our own experience and a review of available literature, identified on Medline with the search word "pertussis".


Whooping cough, a disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, is transmitted via respiratory droplets. Sources of infection for infants are often their parents and siblings. Older children and adolescents contract whooping cough mostly in school, whereas adults usually get the disease from children or colleagues. The typical symptoms are bouts of violent coughing with the classic whoop and post-tussive vomiting. A milder clinical picture can be seen in vaccinated persons, reinfected patients, and in persons above the age of 15. Infants are most at risk of developing serious disease and have the highest numbers of hospitalizations, complications and mortality. But complications are also seen in adolescents and adults, including urinary incontinence, rib fractures and pneumonia. The diagnosis is made by culture or PCR in nasopharyngeal secretions, as well as by detection of antibodies to B. pertussis in serum. If treatment is indicated, macrolides are the drugs of choice; these shorten the duration of symptoms and the period of contagiousness if given in the early stages of the disease. To help combat whooping cough in Norway, from 2006 an extra vaccine booster dose will be given to children at the age of seven.

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