Brits issued warning if travelling to popular European destinations as contagious disease spreads

A warning has been issued to all British holidaymakers travelling to popular European destinations as a highly contagious disease is on the rise.

Brits travelling European constagious disease spreads
© Edward Jenner / Pexels
Brits travelling European constagious disease spreads

If you are planning any holidays anytime soon, you should always check the news before travelling. This can assure you that there won’t be any issues such as worker's strikes, storms and even if any illnesses are circulating.

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It has been reported that several popular holiday destinations in Europe are dealing with a surge in a highly contagious disease that can be fatal for some people. As a result, a warning has been issued by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). Here’s everything you need to know.

A surge of whooping cough in Europe

As reported by The Sun, there has been a surge in whooping cough cases in Europe, with 50 reported cases so far. Out of the 50 cases, 32 are in children and teens and 11 are in babies under the age of one, as per Ekathethimerini.

It has been reported that one adult with underlying health issues, who contracted the disease has died as well as a newborn. According to a recent Communicable Disease Threats Report, several European countries are seeing a rise in whooping cough, from Croatia to Norway, as well as the Netherlands and Spain.

In the UK alone, there have been over 2,000 reported cases of whooping cough in 2024 so far, which is double the number of cases compared to 2023. Moreover, Czechia has reported over 3,000 cases between January and March 17 2024, as per Mirror.

Croatia has reported 6,261 cases so far from January 2023 to March 15 2024. Spain has so far reported 5,242 cases of whooping cough. Denmark and Norway have reported fewer cases, 822 and 707 respectively.

Finally, the Netherlands have so far reported 1,749 cases so far. Due to the rising number of cases of whooping cough, the ECDC has urged parents to make sure their children are vaccinated as the illness can be fatal in some cases. Indeed, Czechia has reported one death so far.

Whooping cough symptoms

As per The Sun, whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection that affects a person’s lungs and breathing tubes. The NHS recommends that all babies and children and pregnant mothers be vaccinated against it, as in some cases, it can be fatal.

The very first symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to a regular cold. Eventually, it progresses into coughing bouts which can leave the infected person winded and red-faced. After the coughing bout, the person may make a ‘whoop’ sound as they try to breathe, which is how the infection got its name.

Depending on the case, the cough can last for several weeks or months. The ECDC explained that the rise of whooping cough typically happens every three to five years but the latest surge may be due to the Covid-19 pandemic:

Even in the presence of a programme with high vaccination coverage, with peaks in disease spread every three to five years.
The current increase is potentially linked to lower circulation during the Covid-19 pandemic, combined with sub-optimal vaccination uptake in certain groups.

Read more:

100-day-cough cases at an all-time high - when should you be worried about yours?

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Warning issued to British tourists over banned pain relief medication

Sources used:

The Sun: ‘Warning to Brits heading to holiday hotspot as highly contagious ‘100-day cough’ leaves 2 dead and over 50 infected’

Mirror: ‘Four holiday hotspots at centre of horrifying outbreak named as two confirmed dead - including baby’

Communicable Disease Threats Report


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