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1,500 new cases of whooping cough recorded in Czech Republic

 The Czech Republic recorded nearly 1,500 new cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, last week, the highest weekly number so far this year, according to the latest data from the Czech State Health Institute (SZU).

In its epidemiological situation report published on Monday, the SZU said 1,494 cases of whooping cough were recorded in the 15th week (April 8-14) of this year, bringing the yearly total to 7,888.

The Czech Republic has reported rising whooping cough cases since the start of the year, with weekly cases surpassing 1,000 for the fourth week in a row from March 18. Local media say that this year’s outbreak in the country of 10.9 million people has been the most severe since the 1960s.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease. The SZU data showed that 2,420 cases, or about one-third, are young people aged 15 to 19, while 183 cases have been hospitalized. So far this year, three infected people — two elderly and a newborn — have died. Health authorities said they also had other health problems.

According to the SZU, out of the total cases, 5,808 people were vaccinated, 620 were not vaccinated, and 1,460 people’s vaccination status was unknown. Local media reported that the main reason for the spread of whooping cough is that the current generation of teens has received less effective vaccines than previous generations. Another reason is that fewer Czechs are being vaccinated than in the past.

As cases of infection rise, the Ministry of Health has also observed an increase in vaccination against whooping cough. More than 45,000 people have been revaccinated so far this year, compared to about 24,000 in 2023.

Famagusta Gazette