Explosive increase in cases of whooping cough in Romania. Doctor: “In the “donkey” cough you can really cough to death”

Worrying increase in cases of whooping cough in Romania. In the first four months of this year, in Romania, 112 cases of whooping cough were registered, compared to only 16 cases registered in 2023, the National Public Health Institute (INSP) announced.

Whooping cough can be extremely dangerous PHOTO: Archive, The Truth

“In the context of the increase in the incidence of whooping cough in the EU/EEA, 112 cases of whooping cough were registered in Romania in the first four months of 2024, representing a significant increase compared to 16 cases registered in 2023, respectively 93 cases on average 5 years pre-pandemic (2015-2019)“, transmitted the INSP.

Unfortunately, two deaths were also recorded, both in infants. The cases were registered in 22 counties of the country, and the most affected age group is 0-4 years.

“A percentage of 33% of cases are infants, of which 89% were eligible for vaccination“, the INSP also stated.

Of the total number of 112 cases, 78% had no previous vaccine dose, although the optimal percentage was 95% with at least one vaccine dose.

Doctor Mihai Craiu: In the cough you can really cough to death!

One of the most well-known and appreciated pediatricians in Romania, Dr. Mihai Craiu, sounds the alarm about the danger caused by whooping cough. The doctor updated on the Virtual Children's Hospital page a material published in 2018 about whooping cough, stating that “you can cough to death!”.

“Someone got angry and commented negatively on my statement, from a previous post, stating that in whooping cough you can cough to death. Or until you have extremely painful and serious complications like breaking your ribs. (…)The lady in the picture, a 69-year-old pensioner, otherwise healthy and without any previous trauma, presented herself to the doctor with this enormous bruise and violent chest pains. They appeared after a very long and severe bout of coughing. CT scan showed rib fracture in that area. And the analyzes of the nasal exudate confirmed infection with Bordetella pertussis. In other words, in the “donkey” cough you can really cough to death! Note: the lady had received the appropriate vaccine 8 years ago. Message – children, but also seniors, must be protected from whooping cough”wrote Dr. Mihai Craiu.

The National Institute of Public Health (INSP) also sends a series of recommendations for the population:

1. presentation to the doctor at the appearance of suggestive symptoms: bouts of intense and prolonged coughing, vomiting after coughing bouts, difficulty in breathing in infants, noisy inhalation (“donkey cough”);

2. timely vaccination of infants and recovery of restitutions;

3. vaccination of the pregnant woman, in order to ensure the protection of the young infant, but also of the mother;

4. adult vaccination, with a booster every 10 years;

We remind you that by Ord. MS no. 3120/2023 the vaccine for the categories mentioned in points 3. and 4. is compensated 100%.

5. promoting “cocooning” vaccination in the infant's entourage (in a family expecting a newborn, both parents, grandparents and siblings of the infant should be vaccinated according to the national vaccination calendar or recommendations for adults).