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515 people have fallen ill with whooping cough since the beginning of the year – Ministry of Health

Since the beginning of the year, 515 cases of whooping cough have been recorded in Ukraine.

The Ministry of Health reports this on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

“Since 2023, the incidence of whooping cough has been increasing in Ukraine. In the first two months of 2024, 515 cases of the disease were recorded; during the same period last year, only 27 cases were registered, 95.9% of all cases — children, 4.1% — adults. Most patients — children of preschool and early school age. The reason for the increase in incidence is mdash; a large number of unvaccinated children,” the message says.

As noted by the Ministry of Health, whooping cough is very contagious and easily spreads from person to person through airborne droplets when coughing or sneezing.

The most dangerous disease is for infants, in whom it can cause apnea — temporary cessation of breathing. In addition, in newborns and infants the disease can be severe, with a high risk of complications and death. Older children and adults usually recover from whooping cough, but the disease is debilitating and greatly weakens the body.

The disease begins as an acute respiratory viral infection. After 5-8 days, a paroxysmal spasmodic cough appears until the face becomes red, watery, and the cough has a characteristic whistling sound. Coughing attacks occur more often at night than during the day; coughing may be accompanied by fever, runny nose and other signs of ARVI.

Infants may not have a cough, but they may stop breathing for a short time, which may be indicated by a blue face. Recovery begins after 4-8 weeks, the patient begins to cough less often, and coughing attacks become weaker. Sometimes the recovery period can last from 2 to 6 months.

At the first signs of severe cough in infants and symptoms of apnea — Contact your doctor immediately.

The Ministry of Health notes that all children must receive 4 vaccinations against whooping cough — at the ages of 2, 4, 6 and 18 months. If for any reason you missed vaccinations, catch up with her as quickly as possible.

Pregnant women should also be vaccinated against whooping cough between 16 and 32 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether they were vaccinated at childhood. This is necessary to protect the child from whooping cough in the first months of his life before he receives the vaccine.

As Ukrinform reported, the Cabinet of Ministers adopted a resolution opening access to vaccination against seasonal flu in pharmacies. The government's decision comes into force three months after its publication. During this time, the regulatory framework will be changed to ensure the implementation of the project, consultations will be held and a verified list of business entities that will express a desire to obtain a license and conduct vaccinations by pharmaceutical workers will be held. As noted by the Ministry of Health, over time, pharmacies will be able to vaccinate not only against the flu, but also with other vaccines not included in the National Vaccination Calendar.

Photo: Depositphotos

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