Source: Herald Sun (Australia)
By: Squires, Mandy
An emerging strain of whooping cough is responsible for 84 percent of the cases of the disease in Australia since 2008, according to researchers at the University of New South Wales. The Department of Health reports 1,369 cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, so far this year, which is about less than half the 3,000 cases recorded during an outbreak at the same time a year ago. More than a quarter of the cases involve children under 14, and the data shows that even recently immunized children have fallen ill. Pediatrician Dr. Bernie Jenner noted, however, that although vaccination may not prevent every case of pertussis, it can reduce the severity of infection.