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Childhood disease on the increase in the south

It was once a commonplace childhood disease which was thought to have been virtually conquered, but a massive increase has been reported in the number of youngsters in the south catching whooping cough.

More than 500 cases of it have already been reported in the Meridian region since the start of this year - that's more than five times the number diagnosed four years ago.

So why is the disease coming back? Click below for Malcolm Shaw's full report

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Increase in whooping cough cases

A nurse draws whooping cough vaccination before giving an injection to a student . Credit: AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

The Heath Protection Agency is reporting a massive increase in cases of whooping cough in the south.

512 cases have already been reported in the Meridian region since the start of this year - more than five times the number diagnosed during the same period in 2008.

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Return of measles and mumps

Childhood illnesses such as measles, whooping cough and mumps have made a worrying return to our region. The number of cases is on the increase. Health bosses believe it may be due to some parents deciding against the MMR jab in recent years.

Brighton and Hove has seen a thirteen fold increase in measles cases alone. Incidents of whooping cough have quadrupled and outbreaks of mumps have become common once more. Andrew Pate reports.