Whooping cough cases triple in year
There is “growing concern” over whooping cough in the State, with cases tripling since last year, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre warned yesterday.
Almost 250 cases have been reported to the Health Service Executive in the first six months of the year, it said. Cases are three times the number reported for the same period last year.
Patients were hospitalised in more than a quarter of all cases (71). Three-quarters of these were aged less than six months.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is most common in infants and young children and can be fatal. Infants under the age of six months made up almost a fifth of all cases (76), with most of these cases involving children under three months.
Many children of this age were either unvaccinated or incompletely vaccinated, while those under two months were too young for vaccination, it said.
The centre urged parents to ensure their child was vaccinated promptly, with the whooping cough vaccine at ages two, four and six months and again at age four to five.