Whooping Cough: An emerging health threat for the US?

Whooping Cough: An emerging health threat for the US?
Whooping Cough: An emerging health threat for the US?

United States: Health experts and healthcare professionals in the United States have been analyzing the cases linked to whooping cough across the nation. The concerns have been raised after the cases associated with whooping cough have soared in the United Kingdom.

The health officials of the UK have asked the public to get the latest vaccine dosage, which is the only possible way to attain protection against the infection.

What stats are revealed by UKHSA?

As per the stats shared by the UK Health Security Agency, in January 2024, the nation reported around 533 new cases of the highly contagious infection. The numbers are horrifying because, in 2023, the nation reported around 858 cases.

Visual Representation for pertussis

Whooping cough!

Whooping cough which is also known as pertussis. The cough is caused because of a bacterial infection in lungs and breathing tubes. According to the reports, the infection directly attacks human lungs and breathing tubes, causing serious health issues.

In the beginning, the symptoms of whooping cough may resemble a common cold. However, after about a week, patients will experience bouts of coughing that can last for a few minutes, with the coughing being more pronounced at night, according to the reports by Sky News.

For young babies, there might be a distinctive “whoop” sound or difficulty breathing after a coughing episode.

The contagion may be spread widely, but per the announcement of the UKHSA, case numbers had the tendency to be lower during the reigns of COVID because social interactions were limited.

Therefore the recovery process has proven less smooth and straightforward as was anticipated initially. Pregnant mothers or expectant parents are advised to make sure they have been protected against whooping cough also their children should get vaccinated too.

The public health body of UK accepts that the vaccine against the disease is administered in a multiple injection comprising of six different vaccines once at eight (8), twelve (12), and sixteen (16) weeks, the respective age of the infants. The 6-in-1 vaccination had reached to about 92.9 % of two-year-old babies on September 2023, as reported beforehand by tenure. To be exact, the ratio was 96.3 percent for 2014 that ended in March.

How do experts address the concern?

A consultant epidemiologist of the UKHSA, Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, stated, “Whooping cough can affect people of all ages, but for very young infants, it can be particularly serious. However, vaccinating pregnant women is highly effective in protecting babies from birth until they can receive their own vaccines.”

While elaborating on this, she added, “Parents can also help protect their children by ensuring they receive their vaccines at the right time or catching up as soon as possible if they have missed any. If you’re unsure, please check your child’s red book or get in touch with your GP surgery.”