Credit: Freepik

Number of Whooping Cough Cases This Year in Czech Republic Exceeds 20,000

The number of cases of whooping cough (also known as pertussis) registered in the Czech Republic this year has reached 20,114, according to data from the State Health Institute (SZU) released yesterday.

In the past week, 1,154 new cases were added to the Infectious Disease Information System (ISIN), about 50 fewer than the previous week.

According to SZU experts, the disease is now spreading significantly less than in previous weeks, and the current numbers are related to a longer incubation period, as patients could have been infected up to three weeks ago. The number of cases this year is more than 40 times higher than last year.

“We are seeing a significant decline,” said SZU in its report. “However, due to the incubation period of the disease, which can be up to 21 days, and a certain latency between the first symptoms and the reporting of cases, there is a delay compared to the real situation. The expected decrease in the number of reported cases is not yet reflected in the data, and in addition, cases from previous weeks are still being reported.” 

The highest incidence in cases in the current outbreak has been in the 15 to 19 age group, while 295 infections have also been diagnosed in children under one year, who may not yet have completed their vaccination.

About 2.3% of people diagnosed with whooping cough in the Czech Republic this year had to be hospitalised, and six people have died this year in relation to the condition, including one newborn. The last two reported deaths were in early May.

More people were infected with pertussis in the first half of this year alone than in any full year since 1958, when vaccination began in the former Czechoslovakia. According to CTK’s investigation from health yearbooks, 18,978 cases were recorded in 1959, and 32,763 the year before.

Estimates suggest that the real number of infected cases this year may be more than 20 times higher than the cases detected by doctors.

Numbers of whooping cough cases in 2024 by week:

WeekCumulative numberWeekly Increase
Week 128
Week 210779
Week 3227120
Week 4330103
Week 5453123
Week 6641188
Week 7843202
Week 81,217374
Week 91,666449
Week 102,273608
Week 113,101827
Week 124,2531,151
Week 135,2971,044
Week 146,3971,100
Week 157,8881,494
Week 169,3701,476
Week 1710,9731,604
Week 1812,2391,266
Week 1913,4491,210
Week 2014,8321,383
Week 2116,2601,428
Week 2218,9601,205
Week 2320,1141,154

Source: SZU

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