Whooping cough on the increase
According to new data released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) there has been an increase in cases of whooping cough, with five infants under three months having died as a result this year.
by Louise-Anne Geddes, Mindful Mum, 6th July 2012
Their data states that there are normally increases in whooping cough cases every three to four years, and the last rise in the number of confirmed cases was recorded in 2008. Since January 2012, there have been 1,781 confirmed cases in England and Wales across all age groups, compared to 137 in 2010.
In infants under three months, there have been 138 cases so far in 2012, compared with just 67 for the whole of 2008. From 2010, cases in infants between three to five months have increased from just three to 22 in 2012.
Dr Gayatri Armithalingham, consultant epidemiologist in the immunisation department at the HPA said:
“Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, affects all ages. However, over the last few months the increase has extended to very young babies who have the highest risk of severe complications and death. Whooping cough can be a very unpleasant infection. Anyone showing signs and symptoms – which include severe coughing fits accompanied by the characteristic “whoop” sound in young children but as a prolonged cough in older children and adults – should visit their GP”.
Information and support for parents
Whooping Cough is a vaccine preventable disease for which there is a national immunisation programme in the UK. Further information on vaccinations for Whooping Cough, symptoms and treatment can be found here.
Source: Health Protection Agency, Health Protection Report, July 2012
The Telegraph, Five babies die of whooping cough this year, July 5th 2012
Photography: Asjanettew @Flickr