In the United Kingdom, the biggest outbreak in 20 years of whooping cough is taking place. However, experts announced that cases have fallen off slightly. In November, new cases that were recorded dropped for just the first time in the past 18 months, but medical experts have warned that whooping cough does generally die down during the winter months and that could mean there still has not been a peak in the outbreak.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency show 1,080 new whooping cough cases in November, compared to more than 1,600 during October. Thus far, for the year, there have been over 8,800 cases of whopping cough, the highest in one year since the early 1990s.
Overall, there have been 14 babies die from the disease because they were too young to be completely vaccinated, but no deaths were reported in November. Other data shows that hospital admissions for the disease in young children have increased steeply over the past month.
In August of 2011, 22 children younger than five years of age had to be admitted to a hospital in England for whopping cough. During August of 2012, that number increased to 127 children being admitted for the disease to hospitals in England.
In the beginning of September, an announcement was made by the Health Department that said pregnant women would be given whopping cough vaccinations to help protect their newborns, who usually do not have vaccinations start against the disease until the age of two months.