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Number of whooping cough cases increases in Wales

Category: Infectious Diseases

According to BBC News, there were 185 cases of whooping cough reported in Wales as of late September this year, which is a significant increase from the 37 cases reported in 2011.

Whooping cough, which can be detected with a lab test, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). It can result in death and disability in infants, and it spreads through bacteria that gets expelled into the air when a patient sneezes or coughs.

BBC News reported that pregnant women were encouraged to receive the immunization last year in order to protect their infants in the womb. Mary Ramsay, M.D., of the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said that parents should monitor their little ones for severe coughing fits and a "whoop" noise, which characterizes the disease. She also suggested that babies be kept away from siblings who have contracted the ailment.

According to the news source, there have been 10 infant fatalities due to whooping cough this year. Although it poses the greatest risk to infants, it affects people of all ages, but most adults make a full recovery after being treated with antibiotics.

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