Three whooping cough deaths

Three babies died of whooping cough last month amid the biggest outbreak in 20 years, the Health Protection Agency has announced. Thirteen babies under the age of three months have now died as a result of the infectious disease this year.

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Effects of whooping cough differ across ages

Older children and adults tend to suffer a prolonged cough. Credit: PA Archive

While whooping cough can cause nasty symptoms in adults, it does not usually cause any long-lasting complications and can be treated with antibiotics.

In the very young, whooping cough can be a serious illness and can lead to death in some cases.

Babies and children can often make a distressing "whoop" sound while gasping for air after a coughing fit. Older children and adults tend to suffer a prolonged cough.

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