Measles and whooping cough cases increasing in Nottingham

By Joe Locker, Local Democracy Reporter

Parents have been urged to make sure children are up to date with vaccinations as cases of measles and whooping cough have been increasing in Nottingham.

Measles is a highly infectious viral illness that can sometimes lead to serious complications and can be fatal in very rare cases.

It begins with cold-like symptoms and sore, red eyes, as well as a high temperature and a rash.

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection in the lungs, and bouts last for a few minutes and are typically worse at night.

They may make a “whoop” sound when a person gasps for breath, however some people and babies may not make this sound, the NHS says.

During a Nottingham City Health and Wellbeing Board meeting on Wednesday, May 29, David Johns, deputy director of public health, said: “The health protection board met recently and discussed a number of issues.

“Firstly, as many of you are aware, in January the UK Health Security [Agency] declared a national measles incident due to the increasing number of cases across the country.

“In Nottingham city we are seeing a small increase in measles cases.

“We are working in partnership across the local health system to share information in Nottingham in how [people can] protect themselves and their families, particularly related to increasing awareness of vaccinations.

“So we are asking the families to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations, including the MMR vaccine.”

According to Government data on measles, there were 17 recorded cases in October last year, 43 in November, 158 in December, and 276 in January, when the UK Health Security Agency declared a national incident.

Cases continued to rise to 277 in February, 327 in March, 339 in April and there have been 133 so far in May.

Around 10 per cent, 151 of a total 1,570 cases, were reported in the East Midlands.

Mr Johns also said in addition to increasing measles cases, whooping cough cases were also rising.

“Numbers of these tend to peak every few years, but recent increases are particularly high,” he said.

“Whooping cough is a bacterial infection of the lungs, spreads really easily and can sometimes cause serious problems, particularly for infants who are most at risk.

“It is important for babies and children to get vaccinated against it.”

Mr Johns added the cases were not linked epidemiologically, meaning they were reported individually.

Cllr Pavlos Kotsonis (Lab), the chair of the meeting, said there will be engagement with schools over the measles cases going forward.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)