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Whooping Cough cases among the highest here in the South West

by Tanya Mercer

Cases of whooping cough have rocketed across the country, with confirmed cases in the South West among the highest in England - two and a half times the national average. Bristol had 155 cases confirmed in 2012, compared with just 18 in the last peak year of 2008.

Pregnant women and their unborn babies are particularly at risk. Health experts are urging expectant mothers across the region to get vaccinated.

Pregnant women urged to vaccinate against whooping cough

Cases of whooping cough in the West have been on the increase Credit: Katie Collins/PA Wire

Pregnant women in the region have been urged to have a whooping cough vaccination. It comes after an increase in cases reported in the West.

Figures released by the Health Protection Agency show the number of cases is around two-and-a-half times higher than the national average.

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Pregnant women offered whooping cough vaccinations

The number of people who've contracted whooping cough in the South West over the past year has rocketed.

So far this year nearly 850 people here have contracted the illness compared with just 65 last year.

The Health Protection Agency is now urging parents to have their children vaccinated and offering pregnant women jabs to protect their unborn babies.

Here's our Health Correspondent Rebecca Broxton:

Whooping cough warning

Health chiefs in North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire are warning of the dangers of whooping cough following a four-fold rise in the disease in some parts of the region. Doctors say it's vitally important that children's vaccinations are up to date.

In North Somerset, there have been 23 cases this year compared with five for the whole of last year. South Gloucestershire NHS has reported 26 cases this year against eight last year.

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