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N S Crowcroft, R Booy, T Harrison, et al. Severe and unrecognised: pertussis in UK infants (Arch Dis Child 2003;88:802–6).

In the process of carrying out further analysis of the data from this study and to examine the role of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) the author uncovered a single data entry error in the date of onset of disease in one contact of a case when looking back at the original questionnaires. Unfortunately this changes the order of cases in one family, which affects table 4 (the corrected table 4 is shown below).

Table 4

 Proportion of laboratory confirmed cases amongst primary (first) cases in families of pertussis cases in PICU and wards

The penultimate and last sentences of the Results section of the Abstract should have read:

Pertussis was confirmed in 21/33 (64%) of those who were first to become ill in the family. For 13/33 children the source of infection was a parent; for 10/33 the source of pertussis was an older fully vaccinated child in the household.

In the third to last paragraph of the Results section the first sentence should read:

Primary cases (the source of infection) included parents and other children in the households (table 4); 64% of primary cases were laboratory confirmed.

The error has no implications for the methods, discussion or conclusions of the paper.

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