There is an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) in NSW, mainly affecting school-aged children.
Coughing spreads the infection to others nearby. Whooping cough can spread to anyone at home, including younger brothers and sisters. Whooping cough can be especially dangerous for babies.
Whooping cough starts like a cold and progresses to bouts of coughing that can last for many weeks. The infection can occur even in fully-vaccinated children. Older children may just have a cough that is persistent and may be worse at night.
Children with these symptoms should see a doctor.
If your doctor diagnoses whooping cough in your school-aged child, please let the school know and keep your child at home until they have taken 5 days of antibiotics. Keep coughing children away from babies.
Whooping cough vaccines give good protection against infection but immunity fades with time. Check that all your children are up to date with their vaccines, due at 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months, 4 years and 12 years of age (offered to all Year 7 students through the NSW school-based vaccination program). A booster is also recommended at 18 months of age.