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Whooping cough cases found locally

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By Fiona Reid
Front
Whooping cough cases found locally

A SPIKE in whooping cough has been reported nationally and this region is experiencing its share of cases too.

The Health Protection Team at NHS Dumfries and Galloway say they are aware of the national increase in what’s medically called pertussis.

And a spokesperson said: “Dumfries and Galloway has seen small numbers of whooping cough so far in 2024. These cases of whooping cough have been across all ages.”

One of those is Anna Reid from Waterbeck, who has been suffering since Easter and was diagnosed with the illness by her GP.

The 16-year-old said: “It’s been really awful and it’s gone on for weeks now. It’s painful and I’ve been really breathless and sick and it has stopped me sleeping. Worst of all, I have had it during my Highers exams.

“It is not like any other cough I’ve ever had, it’s got a really distinctive sound to it. I hope I never get it again.”

Meanwhile, Dumfries GP Dr Fran Buckle said: “Although the symptoms can be very unpleasant, the vast majority of adults and older children will get through this illness without any complications. “Antibiotics (when given) will usually not improve symptoms but are used to reduce the risk of passing infection to others, especially those with a weakened immune system (including children who have not completed their vaccination schedule).

“Young children, especially those under one year are at a higher risk of becoming more seriously unwell and a rare few require hospital admission. If your child is having any pauses in their breathing after a coughing bout or turning blue or grey during or after a coughing bout, they should be assessed promptly by a doctor.”

She added: “Whooping cough can spread very easily – if you think you might have it and have been asked to attend your GP practice for assessment please ensure you wear a mask.”

The NHS also stressed the importance of getting children and pregnant women immunised against it, as that provides protection to vulnerable newborns too.

Their spokesperson added: “If you or your child are within the first three weeks of symptoms, you should stay away from nursery, school or work until two days after starting antibiotics, or if not taking antibiotics three weeks from when the coughing bouts started.”

More information on whooping cough can be found on NHS Inform.

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