Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Shock rise in whooping cough cases

12:43 04 March 2013

Whooping cough vaccination

Whooping cough vaccination

THE number of cases of whooping cough in Suffolk soared last year, a new report has revealed.

shares

Figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show that confirmed cases of the illness, which is particularly dangerous for babies, went up from just four in 2011 to 174 in 2012.

And in January this year a further 16 cases were recorded.

Across the eastern region as a whole the figures showed a rise from 104 to 1,092 in just 12 months and there was a national record of 9,741 cases documented during what was described as a “sustained outbreak” by the HPA.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, affects all ages but young infants are at highest risk of severe complications or even death as babies do not complete vaccination until they are around four months old.

Dr Daniel Poulter, MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich, said there had been a successful push to raise awareness of the dangers of whooping cough and the benefits of immunisation in the second half of last year, the results of which were now being seen.

He said: “I don’t think anyone is quite sure exactly why the number of cases was on the rise. It’s unclear as to what had provoked that but the good thing is that particularly last autumn onwards the national campaign which was raising awareness about the risks and dangers of whooping cough has been shown to be successful.”

January’s 16 recorded cases of whooping cough in Suffolk went against a regional trend that had seen totals decline over the previous three months.

Regionally, the numbers showed a drop from October’s 215 to 164 in November, then 104 in December and 90 in January.

More encouraging news is that in the eastern region 59.7% of pregnant women expected to give birth in January opted to receive the whooping cough vaccination - a slight rise from 57.8% in December 2012.

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, consultant epidemiologist for immunisation at the HPA, said the January figures for the region showed a “welcome continued decrease” of whooping cough cases.

Dr Amirthalingam said: “However, it is very important to note that we usually see a reduction in cases of whooping cough at this time of year so this decrease is in line with normal seasonal patterns.

“It is very encouraging to see that 59.7% of pregnant women delivering in January in the east of England had accepted the offer of a vaccination against whooping cough. We would like to remind pregnant women how serious this infection can be in young babies and how it can in some cases cause death.

“The aim of vaccinating of women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy is to offer babies protection against whooping cough in the first few months of life, before they receive their own vaccines.”

shares

0 comments

Disused frontage at Severalls Hospital.

Trespassers on a derelict hospital site have been warned they will be prosecuted.

A large tree has smashed into electricity cables after heavy winds in Great Barton.

Strong winds early today have brought down trees and power lines around the county, causing disruption for morning travellers.

Shining Lights awards at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds. Left to right, Becki Nunn, Amber Rout, Kelly Bugg.

Healthcare staff who have helped to make a real difference to patients and their families over the last 12 months have been celebrated at the annual Shining Lights awards.

Latitude Festival, at the Henham Estate near Southwold

This year’s line-up of up-and-coming acts has been announced for Latitude’s Lake Stage – famous for hosting stars of the future on their rise to prominence.

Colchester General Hospital is preparing to open their new Radiotherapy Centre.

A massive jobs fair is being held by the trust running Colchester’s hospitals in a bid to tackle a shortage of nurses.

The Stagecoach Spectacular at The Apex in Bury.

More than 100 young people got the chance to put on a show at a professional concert hall in Bury St Edmunds.

Concerns over impact on nearby Leiston Abbey

Proposals to redevelop a no-longer-profitable holiday park with housing are set to go ahead, despite objections from community leaders.

Kesgrave Hall School in 1988

More than 20 ex-pupils of a former Suffolk school have made allegations of physical and sexual abuse, Suffolk Constabulary has said.

Ipswich Crown Court

A Suffolk nightclub owner who shoved a man in the chest causing him to fall backwards and hit his head on the pavement has been warned he is facing a jail sentence after admitting manslaughter.

Ipswich Academy.

A shadow of doubt has been cast over the capability of the new sponsor of a struggling academy in Ipswich.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages