Expectant mums urged to get vaccinated against whooping cough after baby dies in Carlton

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By sarahlnewall | Wednesday, January 02, 2013, 11:08

PARENTS in Beeston and across Nottinghamshire are being warned about a surge in the number of whooping cough cases after the death of a baby in Carlton.

Over the past 12 months, there have been five times as many cases of whooping cough in Notts as there were in 2011.

The outbreak has prompted health officials to warn all expectant mums to get vaccinated against the disease.

This will protect babies until they are old enough to get their own vaccinations. Children are particularly vulnerable to the condition and, nationally, 13 babies and toddlers were killed by it last year.

Cameron Davis, 54, of Carlton, lost his ten-week old grandson Camron to the disease on December 12 and attended his funeral on Friday. He said: "It's a horrible condition and I'm living with the tragedies of it. I've had it myself, I caught it in October and I'm still not over it.

"My advice to any parent or pregnant woman is to take the vaccination."

Dr Gayatri Amirthalingam consultant epidemiologist for immunisation with the Health Protection Agency, said: "We would like to remind pregnant women how serious this infection can be in young babies and how it can in some cases cause death.

"Vaccination between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy should offer babies the best protection against whooping cough before they receive their own vaccines. As well as this, parents should ensure their children are vaccinated against whooping cough on time, even babies of women who've had the vaccine in pregnancy. This is to continue their baby's protection through childhood."

Professor David Salisbury, director of immunisation at the Department of Health, said: "Over the last year, we have seen a large rise in the number of whooping cough cases with the most serious cases being in children too young to be protected by routine vaccinations.

"If you are pregnant, getting vaccinated is the best way you can protect your baby. It is vital that babies are protected from the day they are born."

Between January and December 27, there were 351 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Notts – compared with just 65 in the whole of 2011.

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