Whooping cough (pertussis) cases at 4 year high in parts of Australia

Reported whooping cough (pertussis) infections have reached the highest level in the past 4 years in South Australia. In 2014, there were 505 cases, while in 2015, there have been 985 infected people, almost double.

In western Sydney, more than 1,200 cases of whooping cough were reported this year, with 200 cases reported in October.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Whooping Cough.

Advice For Travellers

While the risk for the general traveller may be low, the risk for an unimmunized infant can be much higher.

Pertussis cases have increased throughout most of the world due in part to increased virulence and other genetic changes in the circulating strains as well as decreased immunity over time. Outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) can occur anywhere in the world at anytime. Travellers can reduce their risk of exposure to this disease by ensuring that their childhood vaccinations and their current immune status for pertussis are up-to-date prior to travelling.

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