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Whooping cough cases confirmed in Blue Mountains

25 Oct 2019

 

Blue Mountains’ residents are being reminded to look out for symptoms of whooping cough (pertussis) after 107 locals contracted the disease in the past two months.

Whooping cough is spread when an infectious person coughs bacteria into the air which can be inhaled by people nearby.

Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District Director of Public Health, Associate Professor Bradley Forssman says whooping cough is constantly circulating in the community and outbreaks tend to occur every three to four years.

“Whooping cough usually begins like a cold with a blocked or runny nose, tiredness, mild fever and a cough. The cough can last many weeks and may be worse at night,” says Associate Professor Forssman.

“The distinctive whooping sound during a coughing fit may not always be present.

If you or someone you care for appear to have whooping cough symptoms please call ahead to your GP so precautions can be taken for your visit."

Local GPs have been alerted to the recently confirmed cases of whooping cough.

Associate Professor Forssman says the best way to protect yourself and your family is to be up to date with vaccinations.

“Immunisations for whooping cough can fade over time so booster shots are recommended at 50 and 65 years of age, and every ten years for people who are in close contact with babies and young children.”

Since 2010 annual vaccination coverage rates in the Blue Mountains LGA have increased. For children aged one there was a 9.7% increase from 84.7% to 94.4%. For children aged two there was a 0.2% increase from 89.5% to 89.7%. For children aged five there was a 4.5% increase from 88.2% to 92.7%.

The NSW Government is investing $130 million in the 2019-20 Immunisation Program budget, including Commonwealth and state vaccines.

More information on pertussis/whooping cough is available here: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/factsheets/Pages/pertussis.aspx