CONTAGIOUS: Whooping cough can spread quickly.
CONTAGIOUS: Whooping cough can spread quickly.

Whooping cough case breakthrough

QUEENSLAND Health experts are heralding a dramatic decline in whooping cough cases over the past five years.

Queensland Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young said the highly contagious respiratory infections had decreased by almost 1000 cases in 2017, and was at the lowest level the state had seen in five years.

Vigilance remained the order of the day though, with Dr Young encouraging vaccinations.

"In Australia, whooping cough epidemics occur every three to four years - and we have not seen a high number of cases since the outbreak in 2008, which continued until 2012, and peaked in 2011," Dr Young said.

"While we can't predict when the next epidemic will occur, there is always some level of disease circulating in the community, which is why it's so important to be vigilant and keep up to date with vaccinations."

Annual reporting figures showed a significant decline in cases in the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service from 2016 to 2017.

But the year-to-date figure had jumped this year, with 53 cases of whooping cough recorded in the region from January 1-February 18 this year, compared to just 13 cases for the same period last year.

Although this year's figure was still down on the 103 cases recorded for that time period in 2016.

Experienced Nambour GP Dr Wayne Herdy said he was not aware of many cases at the moment and said he'd not seen much whooping cough in the past six months.

"I'm not aware of any," Dr Herdy said.