Current Content
Volume 36 Number 5
September/October 2010

Pertussis: An Overview of the Disease, Immunization, and Trends for Nurses
Regena Spratling, Myra Carmon

Pertussis is a vaccine-preventable childhood disease characterized by bouts of "whooping cough." In 2006, vaccination guidelines for pertussis were recommended to include Tdap for routine use in adolescents 11 to 18 years of age and single doses for adults 19 to 64 years of age. Despite these revisions in the vaccination guidelines for adolescents, the incidence of the disease continues to increase in the U.S. The vaccine for pertussis is an essential component in disease prevention. Nurses have an important role in the prevention of pertussis through vaccination education and administration, as well as in the early identification of disease outbreaks.