Lincolnshire healthcare staff issue whooping cough warning amid rise in cases

Healthcare staff in Lincolnshire have issued a warning to pregnant women across the county amid a rise in whooping cough cases. There have been 47 suspected cases of whooping cough in Lincolnshire during the first four months of the year, with the total number of UK cases now at 2,793.

From January to March, there were five infant deaths caused by the infection, which is also known as pertussis. Healthcare staff in Lincolnshire are urging mums-to-be to get the whooping cough vaccination to help protect their newborn babies.

Since 2020, take-up of the vaccination, which protects against the whooping cough infection, has decreased from around 68 per cent of all expectant mums to just over 60 per cent. Jennie Clements, lead nurse in health protection at NHS Lincolnshire ICB, said: “Whooping cough spreads very easily and we encourage everyone to take precautions against catching it.

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“The best protection is for mums-to-be to have the vaccination as part of their check-ups in antenatal clinics or alternatively at their GP practice sometime between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. The immunity mums get from the vaccine passes to the baby through the placenta and protects them until they are old enough to receive their own vaccination at 8 weeks old.”

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes. It spreads very easily and can be very serious for babies and small children who are unvaccinated against it.

The NHS Lincolnshire ICB encourages women to speak to their midwife or antenatal care team to book a whooping cough vaccine. Babies should have their own vaccinations at 8, 12 and 16 weeks of age to build up their own protection, as well as pre-school boosters for children aged three years and four months.

In April, schools across Lincolnshire sent out letters warning parents of a rise in whooping cough cases across the East Midlands.

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