Whooping cough cases on rise

By Amanda Wilkins - 15 April 2024


Swindon Borough Council are urging pregnant women to ensure they are vaccinated against whooping cough.

The call, along with one for parents to ensure babies and children are also vaccinated, comes amid a national increase in the number of cases.  

A total of 553 cases were confirmed in England in January, compared with 858 cases for the whole of 2023.

Whooping cough (Pertussis) is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily and can sometimes cause serious problems, including pneumonia, permanent brain damage and sometimes death. It is important for babies and children to be vaccinated against it.

A spokesperson for Swindon Borough Council said: "We're reminding mums-to-be to get protected against whooping cough - ideally between 16 and 32 weeks - so that their young baby has protection from birth against this serious disease and to ask their midwife if they're unsure."

The whooping cough vaccine has been used safely with pregnant women and their babies in the UK for over 10 years. 

Getting the vaccine reduces a baby's risk by over 90 per cent. This vaccination will help protect through the very early weeks of life until it can have its first routine vaccination at two months of age.

The council are also urging parents to check that their children are vaccinated against whooping cough, which is offered to all infants at eight, 12 and 16 weeks of age - as part of the six-in-one combination vaccine - with an additional dose included in the pre-school booster vaccine.

Women who are pregnant and have not been vaccinated yet, and parents whose child is not up-to-date with whooping cough or other routine vaccinations, are asked to contact their GP as soon as possible.

If they or their child have symptoms, they should ask for an urgent GP appointment or get help from NHS 111. For more information people can follow the link: Getting the vaccine


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