Whooping cough is in the air
QUEENSLAND Health spokesman Dr Andrew Langley said yesterday that to May 15, there had been six cases of whooping cough notified this year for Gympie Regional Council residents.
"This is only the people who go to a doctor and provide a specimen for laboratory testing," he said.
"This is lower than the average at this time of year for the past five years (17 notifications) but similar to the number of notifications received in 2014 and 2015 by this time (fewer than five)."
Dr Langley said the Sunshine Coast Public Health Unit had not been notified of any current outbreaks of whooping cough in schools in the Gympie Regional Council area.
"Before whooping cough vaccines were available, very large epidemics commonly occurred in Australia every two to five years. Outbreaks in Australia still occur every few years, but since widespread vaccination, there are far fewer cases of disease and deaths and the outbreaks are smaller. The last major epidemic occurred in 2008 to 2011."
Anyone wishing to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill and experiencing severe disease with whooping cough, or infecting those at greatest risk of complications of pertussis (babies under six months) should be immunised, especially babies, and women in the third trimester of pregnancy.