Whooping cough warning for parents in UK region as government issues advice

By Staff 6 Min Read

Parents have been warned of a rise in cases of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, in both Lincolnshire and the East Midlands, putting youngsters at risk

Parents have been sent whooping cough warning letters by the government amid a rise in cases of the illness which can last for months.

The letter, sent by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), warns of an increase in cases of the problem, also known as pertussis, in children across the regions of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands.

Symptoms can include a cough lasting several weeks following initial cold-like symptoms, prolonged bouts of coughing, post-coughing retching or vomiting a ‘whoop’ sound on breathing in and rib pain. In the letter, the UKHSA gave advice to parents in the letter for if their child experiences any symptoms, LincolnshireLive reports.

It reads: “If your child has any of the symptoms described above, we advise you to seek medical advice from a GP and take along this letter. Your GP may then arrange to test for whooping cough.

“Your GP can also prescribe antibiotics without waiting for test results. Antibiotics are not required if there has been more than 21 days of coughing. Whooping cough is no longer infectious within 48 hours of starting appropriate antibiotics, but your child should stay isolated at home until they have had 48 hours of antibiotic treatment.

“If your child is up to date with their pertussis vaccination, we do not advise any further boosters. It is still possible for fully vaccinated children to develop whooping cough (although the illness is generally milder) so if your child develops symptoms they should be taken to the GP for advice.”

Dr Vanessa MacGregor, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control at UKHSA East Midlands, added: “Information is being shared with healthcare settings and local parents to raise awareness regarding vaccination and symptoms of whooping cough to be aware of. Whooping cough affects all ages and can cause severe complications in very young babies who are more likely to be admitted to the hospital if they become unwell with an infection.

“Vaccination is the most effective way to protect against the infection. Children should receive the vaccination at two, three and four months old followed by a preschool booster after age three. There is also a vaccination for pregnant women to provide protection for their babies.

“We’d ask those who are affected to stay away from nursery, school, community settings, or work until 48 hours from the start of antibiotic treatment or three weeks after the coughing bouts started (whichever is sooner) if no treatment was started.”

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