Are whooping cough outbreaks sweeping through United States, following UK trend?

Visual Representation for cough

The cases associated with whooping cough, also known as pertussis, have been rising in the United Kingdom, including England and Wales. In a month, the cases related to this disease have increased by around 120 percent – which has definitely raised concerns among the health authorities.

However, the vaccination rates in the United Kingdom have significantly dropped to around a seven-year low.

Is this disease posing a threat to the United States?

The schools in New York have sounded alarms on an outbreak caused by whooping cough, according to a press release by the Suffolk County Department released on Saturday. The local health department told ABC News that it has received more than 100 reports of the infection since November 28.

In this regard, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) mentioned that the disease is endemic in the United States as it is easily transmissible from one person to another.

What is going on in the United Kingdom?

According to the official data by the government of the United Kingdom, England and Wales reported around 77 cases of whooping cough during the week ending on December 9 – the cases were more than doubled the cases reported during the week ending on November 13, according to The Sun.

The effect of the disease is comparatively less in places like London, the North West, and the South East.

Not a sudden surge in whooping cough cases!

The health authorities of the United Kingdom have mentioned that cases of whooping cough aren’t new – they have been steadily increasing in the last year. According to the data revealed by The Sun, from July to November 2023, the total number of cases in England and Wales was approximately 856 – around 600 cases more than the same time period in 2021 and 2022.

Vaccination program against whooping cough

According to data from the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), the vaccination rate of jabs against whooping cough has dropped to the lowest level in the seven-year span. In England, the vaccination rate was 61.5 percent in 2022 – a decrease of 3.9 percent and 7.6 percent from 2021 and 2020, respectively, reported.

Visual Representation | Credits: Getty Images

The situation was addressed by a member of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine – Prof Beate Kampmann, who said, “The rise in cases might be because of missed vaccination appointments, possibly during the Covid pandemic,” as per The Sun.

The worst affected parts of the UK!

According to the Notification of Infectious Disease (NOIDS), England reported around 77 cases during the week ending on December 10; the count was 120 percent more than the 35 cases reported a month earlier, during the week ending on November 12.

However, London reported 17 suspected cases and became one of the hardest-hit areas of the United Kingdom. The second and third hit areas were the North West and South East – which reported 14 and 13 cases, respectively.

Additionally, the fifth affected area was Wales, which registered nine (9) suspected cases.

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