Pertussis in Other Countries

Pertussis remains one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths worldwide, despite overall high vaccination coverage. Most pertussis deaths occur in young babies who are either unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated.

This 2000 image depicted a group of Indian children gathered together in their village located in the state of Uttar Pradesh.

Pertussis rates are highest among young children in countries that have lower vaccination coverage.

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported 151,074 pertussis cases globally. Based on 2008 data WHO estimated that there were 89,000 deaths. However, a publication modeling pertussis cases and deaths with data from 2014 estimates that there were 24.1 million pertussis cases and 160,700 deaths in children younger than 5 years worldwide.

While Bordetella pertussis circulates worldwide, disease rates are highest among young children in countries where vaccination coverage is low, primarily in the developing world. In developed countries, the incidence of pertussis is highest among unvaccinated babies and increases again among teens.

If traveling internationally, read the Travelers’ Health Yellow Book chapter on pertussis.