Of the babies who catch whooping cough before they’re a year old, around half will need time in hospital.2
Risk areas for Whooping Cough
By breathing in tiny droplets spread by the coughs and sneezes of people infected with the bacteria that cause whooping cough.1
Cases of whooping cough can occur all over the world.3
Symptoms usually develop within 5-10 days and start with fever, sneezes, runny nose and sore throat.1,2 After a week or so, bouts of uncontrollable coughing lasting several minutes can occur. Coughing may be severe enough to cause vomiting. Sometimes people find it difficult to breathe between coughing bouts and their gasping for breath causes the characteristic “whooping” noise.1 It can take a few months before the coughing stops.1
The disease can be fatal, though deaths are rare. Children under 6 months are particularly at risk of complications such as pneumonia, fits and kidney damage. Very young babies can also stop breathing for a short amount of time. If their breathing is interrupted there is a risk of brain damage.1
You can take the following precautions to help reduce your risk of infection:
- Visit your nearest convenient pharmacy or specialist travel health clinic for a risk assessment before your trip
- Pregnant women are advised to have the whooping cough vaccine. This protects babies during their first weeks of life1
- Wash your hands thoroughly1
Ready to get started? Check now for your nearest travel health clinic.
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* This list is not exhaustive and other travel health providers are available.
- NHS. Conditions. Whooping cough. May 2016. Available online: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/whooping-cough/ (Last accessed April 2019)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pertussis (Whooping Cough). About Pertussis. Signs and Symptoms. August 2017. Available online: https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/about/signs-symptoms.html (Last accessed September 2017)
- World Health Organization. Immunization Monitoring Pertussis reported cases. September 2018. Available online: http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidencepertussis.html (Last accessed April 2019)
UK-BOTB-1900043 June 2019