Director of Public Health encourages uptake of vaccine as whooping cough cases rise

There's been an increase in whooping cough on the Rock.

The number of cases tripled in England this year, with two thousand eight hundred cases, and five deaths recorded up to the end of March.

The Government says locally, nine cases have been confirmed so far in 2024 - as compared to one case over the previous two years.

Mainly affecting children and toddlers, whooping cough is a bacterial infection with symptoms similar to a cold, more notably identified by a cough that leaves those suffering gasping for breath.

In answer to GBC questions, the Government says it's normal for cases of any illness to rise locally when numbers are rising in the UK, in view of the strong travel links.

Of the nine confirmed cases of whooping cough in Gibraltar this year, only one was serious enough to be hospitalised.

Government also confirmed that the whooping cough vaccine is an established part of the routine infant schedule, and the uptake in infants is good.

But it appears that in Gibraltar, as in the UK, fewer pregnant women have been getting the vaccine.

The Director of Public Health strongly encourages pregnant women to take up the offer of the whooping cough vaccine.