Croatia is currently experiencing its largest whooping cough outbreak in 43 years. More than 1,000 cases have been confirmed this year.
Croatia is currently experiencing its largest whooping cough outbreak in 43 years. More than 1,000 cases have been confirmed this year. Testing centers have been set up to contain the spread. There have been no deaths so far.
For adults, the illness is usually not serious and only causes a severe cough. However, whooping cough can be dangerous for newborns and young children. Experts say the low vaccination rate is partly to blame for the outbreak.
Routine childhood vaccinations have declined worldwide
Due to the coronavirus pandemic and problems in conflict zones, routine vaccinations among children are lower than at any time in the past 30 years. According to the World Health Organization, 25 million children did not receive at least one of the three pertussis vaccinations in 2021. DTP is a combination vaccine against diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (pertussis).
In 2020, 23 million children missed at least one of their three vaccination appointments, compared to just 19 million in 2019 – before the pandemic. Overall, the percentage of children who received the three vaccinations decreased from 86 to 81 percent between 2019 and 2021.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced staff to withdraw from routine vaccination programs in some countries, and problems reaching children in conflict areas, organizations also point to growing misinformation about vaccinations as reasons.