Football team passes around pertussis

In Pike County, Arkansas, an outbreak of pertussis occurred among members of a school football team.1 Among the 242 students in the county's middle and high school, 77 cases occurred (an attack rate of 32%) and the school was temporarily closed.12

A recorded 93% of students in the school had been vaccinated against pertussis as infants. The outbreak, despite vaccination among students, demonstrated that immunity to pertussis wears off after several years.12

This incident from 2001 was cited as support from the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) in its recommendation for adolescent Tdap vaccination.12

Image: Thumbnail of football team

The waning immunity of pertussis can lead to outbreaks among groups with close interaction like school football teams. (Above photo does not represent a specific team.)