Pregnant women encouraged to have whooping cough jab


PREGNANT women are being encouraged to ensure their babies are vaccinated against whooping cough as a high number of cases continue to circulate in the UK.

Clinically known as pertussis, the bacterial infection affects the lungs and affects people of all ages – but is particularly dangerous for very young babies.

In the UK, new data published by the Health Security Agency showed cases of whooping cough continuing to rise, with 1,319 cases confirmed in March.

Jersey’s health protection senior nurse adviser Emma Baker said: “In adolescents and adults whooping cough often appears as a persistent cough, but in babies it can be extremely serious.

“Recently we have seen a handful of whooping cough cases in Jersey, but with the high number of cases circulating in the UK and many Islanders frequently travelling between Jersey and the UK we are encouraging pregnant women and parents to protect their babies.”

She continued: “Vaccination is offered to women from week 16 of their pregnancy and is the only way to protect a newborn baby from whooping cough. I would ask any pregnant women who have passed week 16 of their pregnancy and not been vaccinated to talk to her midwife or GP.”

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