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Experts express concern over increasing cases of whooping cough in US and Europe.

Rise in Whooping Cough Cases Across US and Europe Prompts Concerns Among Health Experts

The Rise in Whooping Cough Cases Across US and Europe Prompts Concerns Among Health Experts

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is making a troubling comeback across the US and Europe, leaving health experts puzzled. In the winter of 2023, health officials started noticing a spike in cases that was alarming. The European Center for Disease Prevention and Control reported that cases in Europe had surged to over 32,000 between January and March 2024, the highest in a decade. The US and UK also reported an increase in cases, with the UK hitting a 20-year peak.

The majority of cases have been in infants, who are at high risk of severe complications from whooping cough, followed by 10-14-year-olds. However, experts caution that the actual numbers may be higher than reported, as some cases could be going undiagnosed.

The reason behind the sudden spike in cases remains unclear, but experts believe that several factors could be at play. Declines in vaccine uptake, particularly in pregnancy, could be a contributing factor. The COVID-19 pandemic may have also played a role, as measures to prevent the spread of the virus may have inadvertently impacted other contagious diseases.

The current pertussis vaccines, while effective, may need to be reevaluated to address the rise in cases. Boosters and new vaccines with potentially superior immunity are being considered, but implementing them into the existing vaccine schedule poses challenges.

As the number of whooping cough cases continues to rise, health experts are working diligently to understand the factors driving this resurgence and to find solutions that will protect the most vulnerable populations.

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