Maine CDC Health Advisory

October 24, 2018

Pertussis Update in Maine

Maine is currently experiencing elevated rates of pertussis in York and Waldo counties, an increase in the number of infant cases and a change in age distribution of disease.

Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 301 pertussis cases in Maine through October 22, 2018 compared to 345 cases reported for the same time period in 2017. In York county, the rate of pertussis is 48.2 per 100,000, twice the state rate. Cases have increased significantly in the past two months. York county reported 25 cases in September and 29 cases so far in October. York county has accounted for 60% (11 of 19) of the young infant cases (infants < 6 months of age) and reported 5 since September. For comparison, in 2017 there were 14 cases of pertussis in infants < 6 months of age in Maine.

The increase in young infant cases is particularly important to note because this population can have the most severe complications from pertussis including hospitalization and death.

The best way to prevent pertussis is with vaccines. Federal CDC recommends pertussis vaccines for infants, children, adolescents, and adults. Infants and children should stay up to date on their vaccine schedules. Adults over the age of 20 should receive at least one dose of Tdap if they haven't received one already, especially if they will be around children.

Advisory (PDF)