Cases of ‘100-day cough’ are on the rise in the UK. Here’s what you should know about whooping cough

Cases of ‘100-day cough’ are on the rise in the UK.  Here’s what you should know about whooping cough

Cases of this highly contagious disease have more than tripled in the UK, and experts are urging pregnant women and children to get vaccinated.


If you have a cough you can’t seem to get rid of, you’re not alone.

Cases of whooping cough – sometimes called the “100-day cough” – are on the rise in England and Wales, where they have increased by almost 230 per cent compared to last year. According to the numbers From the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA).

Between July and the end of November 2023, 716 cases of whooping cough were reported, three times higher than in the same period in 2022.

However, these numbers are still lower than in pre-pandemic years.

Whooping cough, officially known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects the lungs and breathing tubes.

The World Health Organization (WHO) says the disease is most serious in infants, also warning that people with whooping cough are more contagious for up to about three weeks after the cough starts.

What are the symptoms of whooping cough?

Early symptoms usually appear seven to 10 days after infection and include mild fever, runny nose, sore throat and cough, which gradually develops into a hacking and then whooping cough (hence the name). This can be particularly persistent, sometimes lasting weeks or even months, according to the NHS.

Some adults may also experience rib pain from a severe cough, or in more extreme cases, from a hernia.

While whooping cough affects all ages and is usually mild, it can be more serious for infants and very young children. In particular, babies younger than 6 months have a higher chance of developing pneumonia, breathing difficulties, and seizures.

For this reason, pregnant women are advised to get vaccinated to protect their babies from birth, while young children are given three doses of pertussis vaccine at eight, twelve and 16 weeks of age.

Why are cases rising?

In the 1950s, there were more than 100,000 suspected cases of whooping cough in England and Wales annually. Oxford Vaccine GroupAccording to the Vaccine Research Group within the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oxford.

The development of a vaccine for children has significantly reduced these numbers and helped prevent thousands of deaths.

The Covid-19 pandemic is the most likely cause of the current increase in whooping cough cases, according to the UKHSA, which has linked lockdown measures to decreased immunity and lower vaccination rates due to disruptions to medical services.

“Before the introduction of routine immunization, whooping cough was affecting tens of thousands of people. Thanks to vaccination, this number has decreased significantly but the infection has not completely disappeared, as neither infection nor vaccination can provide lifelong protection,” Dr. Gayatri Amirthalingam, a science consultant, said. Epidemiology at the UK’s Health Security Agency, in a statement.

“As expected, we are now seeing cases of whooping cough increasing again, so it is extremely important that pregnant women make sure they get vaccinated to protect their babies.”

(Tags for translation) World Health Organization

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *