Whooping cough outbreak hits Murcia

Whooping Cough Spikes Image: Shutterstock/ VGstockstudio

MURCIA, along with the rest of Spain, is dealing with a significant increase in whooping cough cases, a respiratory infection caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. While there were only four reported cases in 2022 and 52 in 2023, the numbers have skyrocketed in the first few months of 2024, reaching 234 cases. The Murcian Health Department is closely monitoring 37 outbreaks, primarily within families.

Rising Trend and Alarming Numbers

The upward trend in whooping cough started in 2023. Health experts attribute this resurgence to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and the decline in mask usage. Notably, only eight of the 234 affected individuals in Murcia are under one year old, the infection tends to be less severe in properly vaccinated healthy individuals.

New Vaccination Booster Advocacy

To counteract the increasing epidemic, the Murcian Health Department has implemented isolation protocols and intensified diagnostic procedures in specific regions. Experts are now advocating for a new vaccination booster at the age of 14, emphasising the necessity of timely vaccinations to protect infants. With Murcia currently boasting high vaccination coverage, exceeding 97 per cent for the first two doses and reaching 85 per cent for the six-year booster, health officials are urging parents to adhere to the vaccination schedule to safeguard their children.

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Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!