The Growing Global Pertussis Problem

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Pertussis (whooping cough) has been on the rise over the past few decades. In 2014, the World Health Organization estimates 50 million cases with 300,000 fatalities will occur worldwide. This article presents the history of pertussis, possible reasons for the rise in prevalence, symptoms, management of illness, vaccination across the lifespan, and worldwide prevention efforts. The critical role nurses play in vaccination and pertussis education is emphasized.

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