UK sees rise in contagious '100-day cough': Report

London, Dec 11 (IANS): The UK is seeing a significant rise in the number of contagious '100-day cough' infections, according to a report.

The 100-day cough is whooping cough, officially known as pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes affecting both older children and adults. It arises when bacteria called Bordetella pertussis cause an infection in the lungs and airways.

Data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) showed that from early July to the end of November 2023, there were 716 suspected cases of whooping cough in England and Wales, compared with 217 in the same period last year, and 213 in the same period of 2021.

"Social distancing and lockdown measures imposed across the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the spread of infections, including whooping cough," Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, a consultant epidemiologist at UKHSA, was quoted as saying by the Guardian.

According to the NHS, the whooping cough is similar to a cold and begins with a runny nose, sore throat. The condition can be worse at night, pose difficulty in breathing and cause a thick mucus.

"It spreads very easily and can sometimes cause serious problems," the NHS has warned.

Although whooping cough affects all ages and is usually mild, it can be more serious for babies and very young children. Babies under the age of 6 months have a higher chance of suffering from pneumonia, breathing difficulties, and seizures. Experts have urged pregnant women to get vaccinated to protect their babies. Young babies are offered three doses each at eight, 12 and 16 weeks old, EuroNews reported.

The NHS notes that rest and fluids are important, if infected, while paracetamol or ibuprofen can be taken. Severe cases may require hospital treatment.



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Title: UK sees rise in contagious '100-day cough': Report

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