A Pertussis Outbreak at a Hospital in Southern Taiwan, January 2012

Yu-Yan Deng, Hui-Zhen Lin, Jin-Shen Ji, Jian-Sheng Lin,Hong-Ying Chiou, Yong- Sheng Li

2012 Vol.28 NO.15

Correspondence Author: Yu-Yan Deng

  • Fourth Branch, Centers for Disease Control, Taiwan


Pertussis (whooping cough) is a respiratory disease mainly spread by droplets. In the past, without available vaccine, pertussis was contagious with high incidence and fatality. Nowadays, as Taiwan has high coverage on routine vaccines, more than thirty percent of the pertussis cases during 2008 to 2009 were among non-immunized infants under one year of age. The common source of infection is transmitted by caregivers at home or older siblings. In January 2012, a hospital in southern Taiwan notified a confirmed case of pertussis (index case) affecting a two month-old infant. Further investigation found one asymptomatic carrier among health care staff who had been working and taking care of the index case in the neonatal wards during index case’ last admission. The index case and the staff had been contacted with another confirmed case of three month-old infant in the same neonatal ward in December 2011. This was the first nosocomial pertussis outbreak occurred at a neonatal ward in southern Taiwan. Fortunately, after local department of health and the hospital made efforts to take relevant control measures, the outbreak was confined from spreading to the community.