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Allergy Asthma Respir Dis. 2018 Jan;6(1):54-61. Korean.
Published online Jan 31, 2018.
© 2018 The Korean Academy of Pediatric Allergy and Respiratory Disease; The Korean Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Clinical Immunology
A survey of the domestic epidemiological characteristics and clinical manifestations of pertussis
Seock Hwa Yoon,1 Yong Hee Hong,1 Hee Kyung Lee,2 Jong Hyun Lee,2 and Meeyong Shin1
1Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Bucheon, Korea.
2Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Gumi Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, Gumi, Korea.

Correspondence to: Meeyong Shin. Department of Pediatrics, Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital, Soonchunhyang University College of Medicine, 170 Jomaru-ro, Wonmi-gu, Bucheon 14584, Korea. Tel: +82-32-621-5406, Fax: +82-32-621-5560, Email:
Received May 26, 2017; Revised July 05, 2017; Accepted July 19, 2017.

This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License (



This report describes the results of a survey of the characteristics of pertussis in children from a single institution and compares it to data from the Korea Centers of Disease Control (KCDC).


We retrospectively evaluated the medical records of 17 and 6 patients diagnosed with pertussis and parapertussis, respectively, at Soonchunhyang University Bucheon Hospital from January 2005 to January 2017.


Of the 17 patients with pertussis, 9 were under 1 year of age (52.9%), 3 were aged between 1 and 10 years (17.6%), and 5 were over 10 years of age (29.4%). Seven patients (41.2%) had never received diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccines, of which 5 were infants below 2 months of age and 2 were 10 years old and lived in China. Four patients showed the initial symptoms of cough in China. The sources of infection were the parents (2 cases) and the siblings (8 cases). All patients showed prolonged severe cough and the average duration of cough was 26 days. Severe symptoms, including dyspnea, cyanosis, apnea, and seizures, were observed in the children under 2 months of age. According to the recent 10-year KCDC data, the highest rate of pertussis diagnosis was noted in infants (47.8%), followed by adolescents (18.7%). Six patients with parapertussis also presented with prolonged severe cough without any other severe symptoms. Lymphocytosis was not found, unlike the patients with pertussis.


The possibility of pertussis and parapertussis should be considered among patients with prolonged severe cough, especially in infants and adolescents.

Keywords: Bordetella pertussis; Bordetella parapertussis; Diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis vaccines


Fig. 1
Age distribution of pertussis: comparison to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
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Fig. 2
Monthly incidence of pertussis: comparison to Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).
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Fig. 3
Pertussis incidence from 2005 to 2016 (Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
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Table 1
Clinical characteristics of pertussis according to age
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Table 2
Differences in clinical symptoms, laboratory results, and chest radiograph findings in pertussis according to the number of DTaP vaccinations
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Table 3
Comparison between clinical symptoms and laboratory results of pertussis and parapertussis
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This research was supported by the Soonchunhyang University Research Fund.

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