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Whooping cough outbreak: 3 babies die in October, taking death toll to 13

Written on:November 30, 2023
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Whooping cough outbreak could be due to the mutation of Bordetella pertussis bacterium, say experts

Three whooping cough-related baby deaths in the country, which occurred in October, represent one of the deadliest eruptions of the disease in decades, as per the Health Protection Agency for England and Wales. What is troubling is that the whooping cough outbreak is displaying no signals of vanishing.

The whooping cough deaths in October have raised the number of newborn demises to 13 in 2012. The newborn population is most at risk of dangerous complications due to the whooping cough disease.

The graveness of the whooping cough outbreak is represented by the statistics, which show that there were 1,614 infections in October, which has heightened the total to 7,728 this year.

Thus, a vaccination movement across the country is in progress to inoculate pregnant women, so that they can pass protection on to their kids.

The earliest whooping cough signs are akin to a common cold, which then transform into a cough and can even lead to pneumonia, cerebral damage, death and weight loss. The disease can prevent a baby from breathing.

Newborns are most susceptible to the whooping cough outbreak as they are too young to be vaccinated. Doses are provided at two, three and four months of age.

The current whooping cough outbreak has afflicted nearly 10 times as many people as the previous whooping cough eruption in 2008. In excess of 1600 whooping cough cases have been reported in Scotland and around 280 cases have occurred in Northern Ireland, but no fatalities have taken place consequently.

Pregnant females, between 28 weeks and 38 weeks, are now being presented a whooping cough vaccine. The vaccine should prompt the pregnant female’s immune system to generate more antibodies to assail the whooping cough bacterium. The antibodies should move from the mother to the child in the womb and present protection to the baby when the baby is born.

One theory to explain the latest whooping cough outbreak is that the whooping cough-causing bacterium, Bordetella pertussis, has mutated. Another theory is that whooping cough has been tightly controlled, which has decreased people’s resistance to whooping cough.

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