WHOOP­ING COUGH SURGE

Health au­thor­i­ties is­sue warn­ing as cases spike across the re­gion.

Albany Extra - - Front Page - Jes­sica Cuth­bert

Cases of the po­ten­tially deadly whoop­ing cough has in­creased over the last three years in the Great South­ern dur­ing the win­ter months.

The Great South­ern recorded 60 cases of per­tus­sis be­tween Jan­uary and July this year, dou­bling the cases dur­ing the same months in 2016.

The num­ber of cases this year is 10 more than recorded in 2017.

A spokesman for WACHS said the highly con­ta­gious ill­ness, can vary

“Per­tus­sis is one of many in­fec­tious res­pi­ra­tory dis­eases and num­bers vary from month to month and year to year, es­pe­cially in places such as the Great South­ern where num­bers are low,” they said.

“For the win­ter months of June and July num­bers are sim­i­lar for 2017 and 2018.”

The ill­ness usu­ally be­gins like a cold with a runny nose, tired­ness and some­times a mild fever — cough­ing then de­vel­ops, some­times fol­lowed by a deep gasp.

The dis­ease causes an in­fec­tion in the lung which can be de­bil­i­tat­ing for young chil­dren who are not im­mu­nised, and can be fa­tal in chil­dren un­der two.

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