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Beware of whooping cough this summer

Beware of whooping cough this summer

– June 26, 2024

Since April, the number of whooping cough cases has increased and now there is a major outbreak of the disease in Sweden. Pregnant women and children are advised to get vaccinated.

– The prevalence of whooping cough is usually at its highest levels during the summer and fall. We can expect an increase in the coming months, says Frederic Röcker, an infectious diseases doctor in the Dalarna region.

Whooping cough is a very dangerous disease for young children. Most babies who get whooping cough and are younger than 3 months old need hospital care. Infants are most at risk of developing serious diseases.

Whooping cough can start as a cold, accompanied by a runny nose, cough, and sometimes fever. The cough may increase after 1-2 weeks and turn into severe coughing attacks. Testing and treatment is important for infants, people who have contact with infants, and pregnant women at the end of pregnancy.

– The most important thing is to protect our little ones – avoid meeting children under 6 months with people who have a runny nose and cough, says Peter Eringo, pediatrician in the Dalarna region.

In Sweden, vaccination is recommended for all children from three months of age and for all pregnant women after the 16th week of pregnancy, and vaccination is free for both groups.

Status report from the Public Health Authority

In 2024, a total of 355 cases of whooping cough were reported (data as of 16/6). Of the cases, 43 were in children under the age of one year. During May, 100 cases were reported, of which 16 were in children under the age of one year. During the first half of June (until 16 June), 85 cases were reported, of which 12 were in children under the age of one year. Cases were reported in June from 15 regions. The majority of cases (63 percent) were reported from the regions of Stockholm, Skåne and Västra Götaland.

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