An Outbreak of Pertussis in a Junior High School in Taoyuan County, December 2013 – February 2014

Wan-Ling Hsu1*, Ming-Chu Tai1, Hsin-Chun Lee2, Tzu-Chun Chen1, Jhy-Wen Wu1, Kun-Bin Wu1

2015 Vol.31 NO.10

Correspondence Author: Wan-Ling Hsu

  • 1.Northern Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control,Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan
  • 2.Kaohsiung-Pingtung Regional Center, Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan


During December 2013 – February 2014, an outbreak of pertussis occurred at a junior high school in Taoyuan County. The index case, a 12-year-old, 7th grade student, presented four-week symptoms of upper respiratory tract infection (cough and rhinorrhea) before the diagnosis of pertussis (confirmed by the isolation of Bordetella pertussis) made in December 2013. Subsequent investigation identified 237 contacts and 24 (22.8%) of them developed symptoms. Nasopharyngeal sampling from 23 ill contacts detected seven additional cases by laboratory; one of which was household contact (index case’s younger sister) and the other six were contacts from same class or cram school. All of the pertussis cases have a prior history of four-dose diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis (DTP) vaccination. Public health officials implemented control measures to halt the spread of disease, including testing and providing antibiotic treatment for those contacts who developed symptoms, infected students or staff. They were asked not returning to school until completing 5 days of appropriate therapy for pertussis and initiating postexposure prophylactic antibiotics in asymptomatic contacts. The outbreak peaked in mid-December and lasted for 2 months. Prophylactic antibiotics were provided to 167 contacts. No more pertussis case has been reported in this school since February 2014.