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Increase in Pertussis (Whooping cough) cases

It has been reported that there has been an increase in the number of Pertussis (also known as whooping cough) cases in Ireland in 2012. Up to 15th July, 244 cases of whooping cough have been reported. This is three times the number reported for the same time period last year. There were 76 cases aged less than 6 months and two thirds of these were children under 3 months of age. (Source HPSC)

Whooping cough is a disease which is also known as pertussis.  The disease causes long bouts of coughing and choking resulting in breathing difficulty. Whooping cough can result in difficulty eating and drinking. The disease can last up to three months.  Whooping cough is most serious in babies under 12 months of age, often requiring admission to hospital and may be fatal. If you are unsure if your child has received all recommended vaccinations please contact your GP/Practice nurse for advice.

Vaccination offers the best protection for young children. The following
vaccines are recommended:

  • 6   in 1 vaccine (pertussis containing vaccine) is offered to children at 2, 4, and 6 months of age.
  • 4   in 1 vaccine (pertussis containing vaccine) is recommended for children aged 4 to 5 years of age.


  • Tdap vaccine (contains low dose acellular pertussis) is recommended for
    children in 1st year of second level schools as part of the HSE schools

More information is available from