Outbreak of whooping cough worst for 20 years
Jeremy Laurance is a writer on health issues. He is former health editor of The Independent and the i and has covered the specialism for more than 20 years. He thinks the harm medicine does is under-appreciated, the harm it prevents over-rated, and that cycling works better than most drugs. He was named Specialist Journalist of the Year in the 2011 British Press Awards.
Saturday 28 July 2012
Family doctors are being urged to clear waiting lists for child immunisation clinics following an upsurge in cases of whooping cough.
There were 2,466 cases of the potentially deadly infection recorded in the first six months of the year, more than in the whole of last year, according to the Health Protection Agency. And experts believe delays in immunising children could put them at risk.
This year's outbreak is the worst since the early 1990s, and the number of cases is already five times higher than the last surge in 2008.
Whooping cough outbreaks occur around once every three to four years. There have been five deaths so far in 2012 compared to four in 2008. Young babies are at greatest risk.
The Department of Health's Joint Committee of Vaccination and Immunization said it was important children received vaccinations at the right time.
The jab, which also protects against diphtheria, tetanus, polio and Hib meningitis, is offered to babies at two, three and four months old.
The committee is also reviewing options including introducing a booster dose for teenagers.
Life & Style blogs
Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
Watch teenager Collin Burns break the Rubik's Cube world record by solving puzzle in just 5.25 seconds
The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
What do the emoji on Snapchat mean?
‘My children can’t sleep, crying for daddy:’ How spouse immigration rules affect British families
- 1 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 2 The confessions of men who ordered mail-order brides
- 3 UK weather: Britain braced for snow as arctic air mass moves in
- 4 Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
- 5 'Isis' schoolgirls: Missing British teenager tweets picture of her Syrian takeaway
£16000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Photographer/ Floor planner /...
£30000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Front-End Developer - Guildford/Craw...
£13500 - £15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Assistant is...
£16000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An ambitious and motivated Sale...