Fall in whooping cough cases1st February 2013
Latest data from the Health Protection Agency has indicated that the worst whooping cough outbreak in England and Wales for two decades is beginning to ease.
Figures from December show that there were 832 new cases, which is about half the number for October.
The latest figures show a fall for a second month in a row but one baby did die from the condition in December, bringing the total number of deaths among new-borns for the current outbreak to 14.
So far, 9,741 cases have been reported in England and Wales in 2012 – 10 times the number of cases for the last outbreak in 2008 - and there remain concerns that the outbreak is not yet over.
Dr Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the HPA, said: “The December figures show another welcome decrease in the overall number of whooping cough cases since the peak in October.
“However, it is very important to note that we usually see a reduction in cases of whooping cough at this time of year so this decrease is in line with normal seasonal patterns.”
New born babies are normally vaccinated after two months but in response to the ongoing outbreak, a programme of vaccinating pregnant mums was launched in the UK with women between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant being offered the whooping cough vaccine in a bid to pass protection onto their child in the womb.
Some 55% of pregnant women had the vaccination in December, a rise from the 40% who received it in October.
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Title: Fall in whooping cough cases
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 23661
Date Added: 1st Feb 2013