Ministry of Health warns about increase in whooping cough cases The Health Ministry said Monday that the number of reported cases of whooping cough continues to rise and it is urging people to get vaccinated against the potentially deadly disease.
In August, 166 new cases were recorded, 190 in July, 122 in June, and 94 in May. In Jerusalem, a 10-week-old baby died of whooping cough in early June, after the Health Ministry reported an alarming increase in cases compared to last year. Most of the new cases have been recorded in Jerusalem and particularly in ultra-Orthodox communities, where housing is overcrowded and vaccination rates are lower than the average for other populations.
In its latest warning, the ministry said a significant portion of the disease cases diagnosed over the summer also occurred in other parts of the country. Most illnesses and hospitalizations occur in babies under six months old who have not yet been vaccinated and for whom the disease is most dangerous.
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Whooping cough is a highly contagious but preventable disease caused by bacteria that spread easily. through cough or sneeze. It is particularly dangerous for babies, who may experience severe coughing and wheezing, as well as vomiting, fever, and runny nose. In more severe cases, apnea (pauses in breathing), cyanosis (bluish discoloration of the skin), or even death can occur.
The whooping cough vaccine consists of several injections starting at two months of age. Pertussis vaccines for children stop at age 13, and adults are recommended to receive a booster vaccine after age 18 to maintain protection against the disease. An especially decisive injection for medical students and for all those who work in the healthcare sector.
Pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive the pertussis vaccine during the third trimester to protect newborns until they can receive their first dose.
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