Spike in whoop­ing cough

Whitsunday Times - - COMMUNITY NEWS -

A SPIKE in whoop­ing cough cases in the re­gion has pro­moted the Mackay Pub­lic Health Unit to re­mind people to vac­ci­nate against the highly con­ta­gious dis­ease.

Pub­lic health nurse Ter­ri­anne Messina said there had been 23 no­ti­fi­ca­tions of whoop­ing cough this year with seven of those in the past two weeks.

Whoop­ing cough is a highly con­ta­gious re­s­pi­ra­tory in­fec­tion that can af­fect people of any age. While adults may ex­pe­ri­ence only the se­vere cough com­pli­ca­tions of whoop­ing cough, in ba­bies com­pli­ca­tions can in­clude pneu­mo­nia, fits and brain dam­age from pro­longed lack of oxy­gen. A free vac­cine is funded for in­fants aged two, four and six months. Vac­cines are also avail­able for chil­dren aged four years.

Boost­ers are ad­min­is­tered as part of the school pro­gram for Years 8 and 10 stu­dents.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit www.ac­cess.health.

qld.gov.au/hid/In­fec­tion­sandPar­a­sites/Bac­te­ri­alIn­fec­tions/whoop­ingCoughPer­tus­sis_fs.asp.

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