Whooping cough can make it difficult to breathe
Health experts in the UK have issued a warning about a highly contagious disease known as "100-day cough" that's rapidly spreading across the UK. The bacterial infection, experiencing a surge of 250% in cases, begins with symptoms resembling a cold but can progress to prolonged and intense coughing bouts lasting up to three months, Fox News reported.
The UK Health Security Agency said that between July and November, there were 716 reported cases of pertussis, a bacterial infection of the lungs, which is three times higher than the same period in 2022.
Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam, Deputy Director of Public Health Programmes at the agency told The Independent that the number of infections had decreased during the COVID-19 pandemic due to social distancing and lockdown policies, but is now on the rise again, according to the report.
What is Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough (pertussis), a lung and airway infection caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria, was once a major killer of babies. A 1950s vaccine dramatically reduced its impact.
"Before the 1960s, when I guess we got going with vaccination, there were epidemics every three years or so," Adam Finn, a professor of paediatrics at the University of Bristol told The Guardian.
Not just babies, but older children and adults can also get whooping cough. The 100-day cough can cause hernia, sore ribs, middle ear infections and urinary incontinence
The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases says that whooping cough can make it difficult to breathe. Intense cough can also lead to vomiting and sore or even fractured ribs.
The NHS says that the whooping cough is preventable and a vaccine is available that can protect children and babies.