Whooping cough alert in South Australia

South Australians are being urgently reminded to ensure they and their children are vaccinated against whooping cough as latest data show a 50 per cent increase in cases compared to the same time last year.

To date, 860 South Australians have contracted the disease compared to 571 at the same time last year.

More than 130 cases have been notified to SA Health in the last four weeks, with public health experts concerned that case numbers in 2017 will reach a five year high.

Child affected by whooping cough

While children aged two and under are most at risk from serious effects of whooping cough, the vast majority of cases do not result in hospitalisation.

Whooping cough is a highly infectious, serious respiratory infection which is very severe and can be life threatening in babies and young children.

The illness starts like a typical cold but is usually followed by long periods of dry coughing which can sometimes produce the signature whooping sound. Vaccination is the best form of prevention and children should receive the whooping cough vaccine at six weeks, four months and six months, followed by boosters at four years old and during high school.

Adults can get a booster vaccination from their GP for a small fee, although it is free to pregnant women in their third trimester.

 

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