UK witnesses significant increase in '100-day cough' casestext_fields
London: The number of '100-day cough' infections is significantly rising in the United Kingdom. The infection, officially known as pertussis, is highly contagious and is caused by bacterial infection of the lungs and breathing tubes, IANS reported.
The disease, caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis, is infecting people irrespective of age.
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 by The Guardian.
The whooping cough is similar to a cold and begins with a runny nose and sore throat. The condition can be worse at night, pose difficulty in breathing and cause a thick mucus, the National Health Service of the UK informed.
"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.
The bacterial infection is reported to be experiencing a surge of 250% in cases. Between July and November, as many as 716 cases of pertussis, a bacterial infection of the lungs, have been reported, according to the UK Health Security Agency.