Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Whooping cough is a bacterial infection which affects the respiratory system. It is very contagious and spreads from person to person when someone with the illness coughs or sneezes, spraying droplets of fluid from their nose or throat.
Whooping cough starts out like a cold with a drycough, sneezing, runny nose
and possibly a slight fever. After one to two weeks the coughing gets worse and a person has coughing fits which often end in vomiting or difficulty breathing.
Babies and small children who are not yet immunised or who are only partially immunised, are most at risk. The best protection against whooping cough for you and your family is immunisation.
Immunisation is given at 6 weeks of age, 3 months, 5 months and a booster vaccine at 4 and 11 years of age. Immunisation to protect against whooping cough is also recommended and FREE for pregnant women between weeks 28-38 of pregnancy.
If you or your child may have whooping cough, see your doctor or nurse as soon as possible. You can also call Healthline on 0800 611 116 for free advice from a registered nurse 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.