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Czech Republic sees record number of whooping cough cases since 1963

Czech Republic sees record number of whooping cough cases since 1963

The Czech authorities reported that there were 28 registered cases of whooping cough in the first week of January. That figure now stands at 3,084 – a number not seen since 1963.

The highest rate of the illness is among 15 to 19-year-olds, who account for about one-third of the patients.

According to Czech Health Minister Vlastimil Válek, the surge is likely attributable to a mix of a resurgence in respiratory diseases as society shifts away from stringent Covid measures, and incomplete immunization among children.

Whooping cough is a highly infectious bacterial disease that affects the lungs and airways. It is caused by bacteria in an infected person's mouth, nose and throat.

Before the whooping cough vaccine in 1958, it was one of the most common and dangerous childhood diseases.

Complications predominantly impact young children, particularly those who are unvaccinated or whose mothers did not receive vaccination. These children are at risk of developing severe complications, including seizures, pneumonia, and brain disease.