Doctors have expressed their concerns over an increase in the number of cases of whooping cough being reported in Ireland.
Doctors in Longford have warned parents that they are noticing a substantial increase in whooping cough amongst babies.
They have suggested that pregnant woman should consider getting vaccinated against the illness. Protecting their unborn baby from whooping cough is extremely important.
It is understood that whooping cough, medically known as Pertussis, can be fatal in babies.
Dr Padraig McGarry told the Journal, “Whooping cough is highly contagious and incredibly distressing for both baby and mother, and the consequences for a young baby can be very serious – even fatal.”
Dr McGarry, who is the Chairman of the IMO GP Committee, believes that the vaccination should be included in Mother and Infant Prenatal Scheme.
He stated, “The best way to encourage greater uptake of this vaccine is by including it in the Mother and Infant Prenatal Scheme.”
He shared that the best thing an expectant mum can do for her baby is to think about getting the vaccine from her local GP.
“The optimal time to receive the vaccine is between week between 16 and 36 weeks gestation,” he added.
Doctors believe the best way to protect your children against the respiratory infection is by vaccinating them. The diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis shot will protect your child from whooping cough, as well as tetanus and diphtheria.
The serious infection can cause violent coughing fits, breathing difficulties, vomiting, and causes a lack of sleep due to coughing fits.
A whooping cough is highly contagious, like bacterial infections, whooping cough is spread through direct contact or through breathing in air that is infected.
The infection is extremely dangerous for babies and children under the age of one. Doctors have stressed the importance of vaccinating children against whooping cough as it can cause pneumonia and brain damage, and death in extreme cases.
The illness happens in stages, with initial symptoms being mild. The symptoms will continue to worsen as time goes by.
At first, people with whooping cough will have cold or flu symptoms such as fever, runny nose, cough and sneezing. These symptoms can last for a couple of weeks before a cough gets worse.
During the middle stage of the infection people cough at least 12 times a day, the cough will usually bring up phlegm. Other symptoms include vomiting after a series of coughing, exhaustion from coughing, a cough that lasts more than one minute.
Visit your local GP if you are concerned that you or your child have whooping cough.