Pattern of childhood pertussis in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria: a five year review (2007-2011)
Pertussis is being increasingly found in previously immunized subjects. In Nigeria, the immunization coverage rates are low. This study was therefore carried out to highlight the cases of pertussis seen in a young Nigerian tertiary health facility, with emphasis on the clinical features, complications and the impact of prior immunization in the affected children.
Methods : This was a hospital based retrospective study, in which data were obtained from case notes of children seen in the Paediatric department of the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) from January 2007 to December 2011 with a diagnosis of pertussis. Information sought included epidemiologic data, duration of illness, signs and symptoms, treatment, complications and outcome.
Results: Fifty three patients were diagnosed with pertussis during the five year period, with majority (29; 54.7%) of cases in the year 2011. Twenty one (39.6%) of the subjects were males while 32 (60.4%) were females. The mean age of the subjects was 29.71 + 27.73 months. The most common symptoms were Post-tussive vomiting and paroxysmal cough occurring in 48(90%) and 39 (73.6%) of the patients respectively. The average interval between onset of symptoms and presentation at the health facility was 3.35 + 2.84 weeks. Majority of the patients (25; 47.2%) were adequately immunized for their age. Bronchopneumonia, either alone or in combination with other complications was the commonest complication occurring in nine (52.9%) patients. There was no mortality.
Conclusion: Pertussis is still of public health significance. Routine immunization should be strengthened and booster doses of vaccines should be considered for older children whose immunity may begin to wane.
Key words: Pertussis, pattern, childhood