Whooping cough cases are more than double their number from last year in a severe new outbreak.
Whooping cough cases are more than double their number from last year in a severe new outbreak. FILE

Whooping cough cases more than double in new outbreak

NOOSA children are in the firing line of a severe whooping cough outbreak more than double the intensity of last year, as the council and health experts urge parents to have their children vaccinated.

"So far this year, there have been 29 cases of whooping cough notified to Queensland Health for residents of the Noosa Council area,” Noosa Council's environmental health coordinator Geoff Atherfold said. "Most of these cases have been children. In past years there have been up to 12 whooping cough notifications for a similar period.”

The council is supporting Queensland Health experts' warning for residents to stay vigilant and vaccinate.

"The target to prevent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease is 95%,” Mr Artherfold said. "In the Noosa Shire area we are short of the target with 89% of one-year old children vaccinated, so we encourage all parents to ensure that their children are vaccinated.

"This is for both the safety of their own children but also for the safety of other children they come into contact with.”

Mr Artherfold said whooping cough was a highly contagious respiratory infection that could cause serious, and sometime life-threatening, health issues, particularly in babies.

"We all have a responsibility to help prevent an outbreak,” he said.

Free vaccinations are available for women in their third trimester of pregnancy and for babies at two, four and six months of age with booster doses for children at 18 months, four years, and during their first year of high school.

Adults can also obtain boosters to ensure that they are protected and, in doing so, they are helping to protect others.

The vaccine for whooping cough is combined with that for diphtheria and tetanus and is available from all general practitioners.

For more information visit your doctor or http://conditions.health.qld.gov.au/HealthCondition/condition/14/33/150/whooping-cough-pertussis.

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