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Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Main Messages:

      1. On time immunisation is the best protection.
      2. Look out for symptoms: particularly severe coughing episodes with the cough ending in either a gasp ('whoop' sound), vomiting, choking, or stopped breathing
      3. Visit your doctor if you think that your child has whooping cough. If you are able to - record the sound of the cough and give this to your doctor. This can be done through many mobile phones. This can be very helpful for the diagnosis of whooping cough.
      4. If you have flu or cold like symptoms - keep away from newborns.

Whooping Cough Outbreak 2012- 2015

Pertussis notifications in 2015 have decreased since the peak of the epidemic in 2012 and 2013, especially in <1 year olds. The disease continues to spread in the community and notifications are still well above pre-epidemic levels.

Whooping cough immunisation during pregnancy helps protect the newborn baby from pertussis while its own immune system develops. This immunisation is available from your family doctor. The immunisation is funded for pregnant women between 28-38 weeks gestation. For more information contact your family doctor or midwife.

Children and young people up to the age of 18 are eligible for a free catch up vaccine if they have missed any of their scheduled doses. See your family doctor to arrange this.


Health Professional Advice

Information for Cases and Contacts

Information for Schools

Information for Early Childhood Education Centers (ECECs)

Whooping Cough Poster

Whooping Cough Videos and Sound Files


Useful Links



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