Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

The UK is currently seeing a spike in cases of a very contagious disease, known as the “100-day cough”. The map below reveals the hardest-hit areas in the country.

According to the latest data, there were 716 cases of whooping cough reported in England and Wales between July and November. This is more than three times the number compared to the same time in 2022.

The bacterial infection, also known as pertussis, starts with cold-like symptoms but can lead to severe coughing fits, lasting up to three months. These persistent symptoms contribute to the disease sometimes being called the 100-day cough.

According to the UK Health Security Agency, the London borough of Hackney has seen more cases than anywhere else in England and Wales so far this year, with 77 people falling ill with the Victorian disease.

Hackney is followed by Wirral in Merseyside (35 cases) and Leeds (30) and Birmingham (30). When compared to the population, Hackney also has the highest rate of cases per 100,000 population with 29.6, followed by Gateshead (13.2) and Wirral (10.9).

You can see the rates of whooping cough where you live using this interactive map.

Despite the rise in cases, not everywhere has seen the spread of the 100-day cough.

Nearly a third of more than 300 local authority areas monitored by the UKHSA have yet to identify a single case.

So far this year, the health authorities have received notifications of 1,141 cases of whooping cough.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

According to the NHS, the first signs to ring alarm bells of whooping cough are usually a runny nose and sore throat.

The health service explains that after about a week, the coughing fits that last for a few minutes, are worse at night, and may make a “whoop” sound appear.

After a severe coughing fit, the patient may find it hard to breathe and could turn blue or grey (especially young infants), and they may bring up thick mucus, which can cause vomiting.

Worryingly, whooping cough can lead to pneumonia, seizures and even death in babies.

Therefore, the NHS advises asking for an urgent GP appointment or seeking help from NHS 111 if your baby is under six months old and has symptoms of the infection.

Pregnant people should get vaccinated

Experts are stressing it’s vital for pregnant people to ensure they get vaccinated to protect their baby.

Whooping cough in young babies can be very serious and vaccinating their parents in pregnancy is the only way of ensuring they are protected in the first few months.

This comes as the UKHSA warned that uptake of the maternal whooping cough vaccine had dropped to its lowest level in seven years.

The jab provides newborn babies with protection against the infection which lasts until they are old enough to be routinely vaccinated, with the immunity from the mother passed through the placenta during pregnancy.

By admin

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