Pertussis spike in kids due to unpaid ‘immunity debt’

RSV season could also start early because of reduced immunity in young children, says Professor Robert Booy.
Rachel Fieldhouse
Professor Robert Booy.

A paediatric ‘immunity debt’ has been blamed for a recent spike in pertussis, with more than 300 cases reported in Australia across all age groups since 1 January.

Infectious diseases paediatrician Professor Robert Booy says reduced immunity from a lack of exposure to respiratory infections has been behind the uptick in notifications since late 2023.