Pertussis outbreak imminent?

In April 2014, NSW recorded its lowest rate of pertussis infection over a four-year period with only 118 cases reported. But by November, that number had increased to 495.

While the NSW department of health says the number of cases have not yet reached the highs seen during the 2009—10 major outbreak, it is warning doctors that cases are clearly on the rise.

Dr Vicky Sheppeard, the director of communicable diseases at NSW Health said the department is watching the number of cases very closely.

The Victoria department of health issued its own pertussis warning earlier this month after the state recorded a 56% increase in cases between 1 January 2014 and 6 January 2015 compared to the same time in 2013.

Meanwhile notification rates in Western Australia rose from 1643 in 2013 to 1720 in 2014 and cases in the ACT between April 2014 to December 2014 almost doubled.

Dr Nicholas Wood, senior clinical research fellow at the