Whooping cough cases surge in News South Wales and Queensland

Whooping cough cases surge in News South Wales and Queensland

Whooping cough cases are surging across Queensland and New South Wales, with both states recording thousands of cases in the first half of the year.

New South Wales had recorded 5372 cases as of June 30, while Queensland had recorded 4951.

In comparison, as of June 30 last year, Queensland had recorded 68 cases year-to-date.

READ MORE: Biden privately acknowledges next days are critical to save reelection bid

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious and potentially deadly respiratory infection and can affect people of any age but is most serious in babies under 12 months of age.

Is there a whooping cough outbreak in Australia?

Cases have been rising since the beginning of the year, particularly in the eastern states.

NSW Health has reported “unseasonably high” rates of whooping cough in school-aged children.

South Australia is also grappling with a concerning surge in cases.

Major outbreaks typically occur every few years as population immunity decreases.

The last significant outbreak peaked in late 2015 with 22,570 confirmed cases.

In 2020 and 2021, rates of whooping cough took a massive dip, due to lockdowns and other health interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic.

As a result, experts last year warned Australia was “well-overdue” for an outbreak.

It’s too early to know exactly how big this outbreak will be, according to Dr Laurence Don Wai Luu from the University of Technology Sydney.

Systems of diagnosis and counting cases also changes over time.

Signs and symptoms of whooping cough

Whooping cough usually begins with cold-like symptoms including runny nose, sneezing, mild dry cough and fever.

After the mild symptoms appear, the cough worsens and comes in long uncontrollable bursts.

What happens if a baby gets whooping cough?

Whooping cough is most dangerous for babies.

Most hospitalisations and deaths from whooping cough happen in babies who are not old enough to receive all the vaccine doses.

Babies may not have a cough at all, but they can have episodes of turning blue or pauses in their breathing.

How is whooping cough treated?

Whooping cough is treated with antibiotics, rest and drinking lots of fluids.

Can whooping cough be prevented?

Vaccination prevents most serious cases of illness and reduces spread in the community.

The whooping cough vaccine is included in free childhood and adolescent immunisation schedules and is also available for free for all pregnant people to protect themselves and their baby.

Children can be vaccinated as infants and can receive a booster dose in their toddler years, as well as receive a Year 7 student booster dose as part of the school immunisation program.

Whooping cough is spread when an infectious person coughs bacteria into the air which can be inhaled by people nearby.

Good hygiene habits and staying at home when sick also reduce the risk of spreading infectious diseases.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *