Health officials have issued a warning about a highly contagious ailment known as the “100-day cough” that is presently sweeping the United Kingdom.
The bacterial infection, which has increased by 250% in instances, begins with cold-like symptoms but can progress to severe coughing fits lasting up to three months.
Because of its long-lasting symptoms, Whooping Cough, commonly known as pertussis and the 100-day cough, has risen in instances this year compared to last.
716 cases have been reported to health authorities in the last five months.
Prof Helen Bedford, an expert in child public health at University College London, said: “As expected, we are now seeing cases of whooping cough increase again, so it’s vital pregnant women ensure they get vaccinated to protect their baby. Whooping cough in young babies can be very serious and vaccinating their mothers in pregnancy is the only way of ensuring they are protected in the first few months.”
The bacterial infection affects the lungs and throat, spreads quickly, and can occasionally be fatal. Babies and children must be immunised against it.
According to the NHS, after around a week, you or your child may suffer coughing fits that last a few minutes, are harsher at night, and may create a “whoop” sound as a gasp for breath between coughs.
Young newborns and some people may not “whoop.”
After a violent coughing fit, the patient may find it difficult to breathe, turn blue or grey (particularly young infants), and cough up thick mucus, which can trigger vomiting.
When infected with whooping cough, it normally takes seven to ten days for signs and symptoms to manifest, however, this might vary.
They are typically mild at first, like a regular cold. A blocked nose and a cough are common symptoms.
The cough may be so severe that it causes vomiting, rib fractures, and exhaustion.
Whooping cough killed 58,700 people worldwide in 2015, a dramatic drop from 138,000 deaths in 1990.