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PHR Article of the Week: Suffer the Infants: A Severe Case of Pertussis in Oregon, 2012

In the latest issue of Public Health Reports, September/October 2015, Dr. Juventila Liko and Dr. Paul Cieslak from the Oregon Public Health Authority, and Dr. Williams Koenig from Physicians Medical Center, report a severe case of pertussis and review recent public health data to describe the burden of pertussis among infants in Oregon.


Pertussis remains a public health concern in Oregon, especially among young infants. The disease can be severe in this age group and is associated with a high inpatient cost. This report describes an Oregon infant who was hospitalized with pertussis for 90 days, required extracorporeal oxygenation for 43 days, suffered complications including stroke, and had hospital charges totaling $1.5 million. Pertussis morbidity among young infants argues for vaccination of women during each pregnancy and of infants beginning promptly at two months of age. This week’s PHR feature article, Suffer the Infants: A Severe Case of Pertussis in Oregon, 2012, may be viewed here.

The official journal of the U.S. Public Health Service and the U.S. Surgeon General since 1878, PHR serves as an informative and accessible resource for practitioners, professors, scholars, and students of public health. Published in collaboration with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), the bi-monthly, peer-reviewed journal provides important research and presents key discussions on the major issues confronting the public health community. For full access to current content, visit the Public Health Reports website to subscribe.