The Croatian Institute of Public Health (HZJZ) has reported a sharp increase in whooping cough cases by November 15, with over 600 reports already received and several dozen more currently being processed. The largest number of cases come from Split-Dalmatia County, followed closely by the City of Zagreb and Primorje-Gorski Kotar County.
Whooping cough is a cyclically occurring disease that has seen an uptick in cases this year due to a decrease in vaccination coverage and reduced circulation of the causative agent during the COVID pandemic. This disease affects infants the most, and there has been a significant increase in interest in vaccination against whooping cough, particularly among children who were not vaccinated on time.
Dr. Ksenija Kaleb, a pediatrician from Metković, warns that whooping cough can be fatal for small babies, and the acute phase of the disease lasts several weeks and gradually worsens until the child stops breathing during a coughing fit. Bordetella pertussis is the bacterium that causes whooping cough, but there may be a potential shortage of Clavocin antibiotic from mid-December to January 10, according to Pliva company. However, other antibiotics are available as stated by HALMED.