Rise in whooping cough outbreaks

The current whooping cough outbreak in Ireland shows no signs of easing off espeically in the North West, according to the HSE.

The current whooping cough outbreak in Ireland shows no signs of easing off espeically in the North West, according to the HSE.

The HSE’s Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) in an update on the outbreak, says between January 1 and July 20 this year, 252 whooping cough (pertussis) cases have been notified, a trebling of cases compared to the same period last year.

Nearly half of all cases reported this year to date have occurred in North West and East of the country.

Of the 151 cases in which vaccination status was reported, nearly half of the children in the two to-five month age group were unvaccinated.

The HPSC says while there is increasing evidence from Ireland and other western countries of an increase in whooping cough cases, believed to be related to reduced immunity in older previously vaccinated children and adults, it is clear that vaccination is still the best way to protect against whooping cough.