Whooping cough outbreak - WHO issues warning in this European country

Especially in cold temperatures, the risk of contracting viruses increases. In one particular country, health authorities are warning of a disease that mainly affects children and the elderly.

whooping cough outbreak symptoms WHO warning health
© Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash
whooping cough outbreak symptoms WHO warning health

Whether it's the flu, an infection with a variant of the coronavirus or whooping cough, people would rather avoid all of these diseases. In Croatia, the alarm is now being sounded about a massive increase in whooping cough cases, as reported by Aerzteblatt.de.

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Risk of whooping cough

Instead of 'normally 50 cases per year', 'over 1,100 cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease have already been registered'. According to the National Institute of Public Health, there have been 700 cases since September 2023 alone. This is a record for the highest number in ten years.

According to Euronews, the number of cases of whooping cough in Croatia makes the situation the 'biggest whooping cough outbreak in 43 years'. There have reportedly been no deaths so far. According to the sources, most cases have been recorded in the popular coastal city of Split and the capital Zagreb.

Largest whooping cough outbreak in 43 years

The disease is particularly dangerous for older people and children. According to Aerzteblatt.de, 'children between the ages of six and 14 are particularly affected'. Experts say the falling vaccination rate is partly responsible for the rise in the respiratory disease.

There are more and more opponents of vaccination, although in Croatia there is a compulsory vaccination against whooping cough for children. The report goes on to say that '92 percent of babies' received their first dose in 2022, but only between 68 and 88 percent received the 'booster vaccinations recommended for seven-year-olds'.

The pandemic and war are to blame

Zeljka Karin, head of the Split Institute, believes the myths circulating on the internet about vaccination are to blame. She says: 'The online networks are spreading panic'. The pandemic and the war would lead to a decline in childhood vaccinations.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 25 million children 'did not receive at least one of the three DTP vaccines' in 2021. This refers to a combination vaccine against 'diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough (pertussis)', Euronews continues.

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This article has been translated from Gentside DE.

Sources used:

Aerzteblatt.de: 'Gesundheitsbehörden warnen vor Keuchhusten-Epidemie in Kroatien'

Euronews: 'Keuchhusten-Epidemie in Kroatien - Schuld ist die Impfmüdigkeit'

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