Ensure children are vaccinated on time
WHOOPING cough is also known as the hundred-day cough, as it can last for about three months.
It usually begins with a persistent dry and irritating cough, which progresses to intense bouts of coughing. These are followed by a distinctive "whooping" noise. Other symptoms include a runny nose and raised temperature.
Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, an expert in immunisation at the Health Protection Agency (HPA), said: "We are very concerned about the continuing increase in cases. Parents should ensure their children are vaccinated on time so they are protected at the earliest opportunity and be alert to the signs and symptoms.
"We also advise parents to keep their babies away from older siblings or adults who have the infection."
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Dr Amirthalingam said GPs have also been reminded to report cases quickly and been made aware of the HPA's guidance to help reduce the spread of infection.