A US study says that parents, siblings, aunts, uncles as well as other relatives are responsible for 75 per cent of pertussis or whooping cough cases among infants.
According to a study published in the April issue of the Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal, it was found from the study that parents were the primary bacterial source of whooping cough, in 55 per cent of infants.
The pertussis vaccination has reduced the number of reported cases in the industrialized countries by more than 95 per cent since the 1950s. However, the number of reported US cases has tripled in the past two decades, says study author Dr.Annelies Van Rie of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Public Health.
“It is troubling to learn that infants are often infected with pertussis by their own family members, who are often unaware of having pertussis themselves, and in whom pertussis could have been prevented if they had received a pertussis booster vaccination,” Van Rie said in a statement.