Pertussis (whooping cough) has been on the rise over the past few decades. In 2014, the World Health Organization estimates 50 million cases with 300,000 fatalities will occur worldwide. This article presents the history of pertussis, possible reasons for the rise in prevalence, symptoms, management of illness, vaccination across the lifespan, and worldwide prevention efforts. The critical role nurses play in vaccination and pertussis education is emphasized.
Pertussis or “Whooping Cough” is on the rise in the U.S. and worldwide; 50 million cases with 300,000 deaths are predicted this year. Nurses play a critical role in education, prevention, vaccination, and management of illness.
Emily Peake, MSN, RN, has enjoyed nursing for 16 years. The majority of her career has been in critical care, more recently as a circulator in outpatient surgery. She graduated with her MSN, Family Nurse Practitioner, April 2014 and looks forward to pursuing new endeavors.
Lisa K. McGuire, MSN, MBA-HCM, RN, is Clinical Research Coordinator at Miami Valley Hospital, Dayton, Ohio. She also is Adjunct Professor of Nursing at Miami University, in Ohio. She completed her MSN in April 2014 and looks forward to working as a Family Nurse Practitioner.
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
Accepted by peer review 12/4/2013.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: Suzanne Burke and Julie Payne, as students in the Family Nurse Practitioner program at Indiana Wesleyan University School of Nursing, Marion, Indiana, contributed to earlier versions of this article.