Whooping cough hits a 20-year peak
Whooping cough, the highly infectious disease that was almost eradicated in the UK a generation ago, is now more common than at any time in the past 20 years, health authorities have warned.
Five babies have died in the current outbreak, which has seen 1,781 confirmed cases in England in Wales in the first six months of this year, the Health Protection Agency said. In the same period two years ago there were just 137 cases.
Most cases occurred in teenagers and adults, but there has been a sharp rise in the infection rate among babies under three months. Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a serious illness in the very young and can be fatal.
The increase has been partly attributed to greater awareness among doctors, who are ordering more tests and producing more positive diagnoses. But waning immunity, even in those who have been vaccinated, is also likely to have contributed.
Increased rates of infection every three or four years are normal as diseases peak in cycles, but the current spike is the highest for two decades, doctors confirmed.
Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'
Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'
Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Virus to kill 67,000 in Monrovia by December, claims academic study
Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
Ebola: NYC doctor Craig Spencer tests positive for disease after returning from west Africa
Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
Controversy over Queen Elizabeth II's 'first tweet'
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£35000 - £40000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...
£47,334 - £59,058 per annum: Coventry University: The Centre for Agroecology, ...