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Huge rise in whooping cough cases in Norfolk and Suffolk

PUBLISHED: 17:37 01 February 2013 | UPDATED: 17:38 01 February 2013

Dr Elisabeth Hopman, left, gives pregnant Kim Briscoe a flu vaccination and a whooping cough vaccination at the Newmarket Road Surgery. Picture: Denise Bradley

Dr Elisabeth Hopman, left, gives pregnant Kim Briscoe a flu vaccination and a whooping cough vaccination at the Newmarket Road Surgery. Picture: Denise Bradley

Archant

Parents have been urged to get their children vaccinated on time after a big increase in whooping cough cases was recorded in Norfolk and Suffolk.

New figures from the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show that there were nearly ten times more cases of whooping cough reported in the east of England in 2012 compared to 2011.

In Norfolk, there were 157 cases last year, compared to 14 in 2011, and in Suffolk there were 174 whooping cough cases, compared to four the year before. The news comes despite almost 60pc of pregnant women receiving a whooping cough vaccination to protect their baby.

Mary Ramsay, head of immunisation at the HPA, said the number of whooping cough cases had been a decrease in December, since a peak in October.

“It is very encouraging to see that nearly 58 per cent of pregnant women delivering in December in the east of England had accepted the offer of a vaccination against whooping cough. We would like to remind pregnant women how serious this infection can be in young babies and how it can in some cases cause death. Vaccinating women between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy should offer babies protection against whooping cough in the first few months of life, before they receive their own vaccines.”

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