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We describe incidence and age distribution of laboratory-confirmed pertussis in Denmark from 1995 to 2013. Notification has been mandatory since 2007. Since 1997, an acellular monocomponent vaccine has been used. The latest epidemic occurred in 2002 with an incidence of 36 per 100,000; since 1995, only six infant deaths have been recorded. The inter-epidemic incidence lies below 10 per 100,000. In 1995, the mean age of confirmed cases was 9.2 years (95% confidence interval (CI): 7.9–10.5; median: 5.1), this gradually increased to 23.9 years in 2013 (95% CI: 22.0–25.8; median: 15.7). In 1995, 14% of laboratory-confirmed cases were 20 years and older, 43% in 2013. In the study period, the highest incidence among children was among those younger than one year with incidences between 84 and 331 per 100,000 in inter-epidemic periods (mean: 161/100,000) and 435 for the epidemic in 2002. After introduction of a preschool booster in 2003, the highest incidence among children one year and older changed gradually from three to five-year-olds in 2003 to 12 to 14-year-olds in 2013. In 2013, PCR was the primary method used for laboratory-diagnosis of pertussis in Denmark, while serology was the method with the highest percentage of positive results.


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