WHOOPING COUGH SURGE
Health authorities issue warning as cases spike across the region.
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.