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Researchers Warn That Whooping Cough Is Still Very Prevalent

Researchers from the University of Oxford have claimed that their study that involved 172 children, has showed, whooping cough to still be very widespread among young children//.

Bordatella Pertussis, a bacterium causes whooping cough, which is also known as ‘Pertussis’. This bacterial infection was once a serious killer with reports of almost 100,000 cases a year, before the vaccine was introduced in the 1950s. The immunization for the children against the disease is given as babies and before school. The research team in their study that was reported in the British Medical Journal cautioned that the GP’s should consider the diagnosis of whooping cough even in fully immunised children.

Reports have indicated that the number of cases of whooping cough has fallen significantly over the past 20 years. But last years statistics from the Health Protection Agency show an increase in the number of younger children who were diagnosed with the condition. Figures show that in 2004, there were 237 cases among children aged four and under, with the numbers having raised to 289 in 2005.

It was explained that there was no life-long immunity against the infection with the Pertussis vaccine. Researchers explained that GP’s now-a days are tending to view the condition as only affecting very young children who have not been immunised and who have classic features such as whoop.

The researchers had conducted their study on 172 children between ages 5 to 16 years who visited their family doctor with a cough that had lasted at least 14 days. Researchers recorded the length of time that they had been affected by the cough, and its severity, they also checked the child's immunisation records. Blood samples were taken to test for Pertussis infection and the parents and children were asked to make a diary on the history of heir cough.

The researchers found that 64 (37.2%) of the children had verified a recent Pertussis infectio
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