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Sunday 16th June 2019

Whooping cough baby dies

26th October 2012

Another baby has died in the worst outbreak of whooping cough in Britain for many years.


The latest figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) for England and Wales have confirmed that a tenth baby has now died of the disease.

So far, 6,121 people have been affected this year with 1,322 new cases in September. Scotland has also seen more than 1,000 cases and there have been 200 in Northern Ireland, but no deaths.

With newborn babies most at risk Dr Mary Ramsay, HPA head of immunisation, said: “We have been very concerned about the continuing increase in whooping cough cases and related deaths.

“All parents should ensure their children are vaccinated against whooping cough on time, even babies of women who’ve had the vaccine in pregnancy - this is to continue their baby's protection through childhood.”

A UK-wide campaign was launched in September to vaccinate pregnant women in order to pass protection on to their child while it is still in the womb.

Dr Ramsey added: “Parents should also be alert to the signs and symptoms of whooping cough - which include severe coughing fits accompanied by the characteristic ‘whoop’ sound in young children but as a prolonged cough in older children or adults.

“It is also advisable to keep babies away from older siblings or adults who have the infection.”

There is often a surge in whooping cough cases every three or four years but health experts do not know why the outbreak is so large this year.


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