Easter Holidays Slow the Spread of Whooping Cough in the Czech Republic

The spread of whooping cough, or černý kašel as it is known in the Czech Republic, has been slowed down by the Easter holidays. Despite this, 1,044 new infections were reported in the last week, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 5,297 since the start of the year, the highest number since 1960.

“The number of deaths related to pertussis has not increased in the past week and remains at two, the same as previous weeks,” reassured the spokesperson for the State Health Institute (SZÚ), Štěpánka Čechová. The two victims of whooping cough this year were a 62-year-old man from Náchodska and an 84-year-old woman from Chrudim, both of whom had other health complications.

Since the beginning of the year, about 140 people have needed hospitalization, primarily seniors with other diseases and the youngest children. Among infants under one year who are not fully vaccinated and, therefore, are most at risk, 85 cases of infection have been confirmed this year. The highest number of sick individuals continues to be teenagers from 15 to 19 years old.

The slowing of the spread of the disease is reportedly due to the Easter break. On Thursday and Friday, when there was a public holiday, the school was not in session, and children stayed home. The director of SZÚ, Barbora Macková, emphasized earlier that the infection increase is due to weaker immunity after a two-year COVID pandemic. She believes the spread of the infection should continue to slow down with the arrival of warmer weather.

The highest number of sick individuals continues to be reported by hygienists from the South Bohemian and Central Bohemian regions. Prague and Vysočina follow this, while the Olomouc and Karlovy Vary regions are faring the best.