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Darling Downs Public Health Unit Alert Pertussis (whooping cough) outbreak in Darling Downs

December 01, 2021

There is an ongoing pertussis outbreak in Darling Downs. Most cases have been in school aged children in Toowoomba.

Darling Downs Health's Public Health Unit are asking that all people presenting to general practice with respiratory symptoms get a COVID-19 test AND that pertussis be considered as a differential diagnosis.

Pertussis begins with coryzal symptoms and progresses to bouts of paroxysmal coughing, with characteristic whoop as air is taken in following these coughing episodes.

This classic presentation may not be present in those who have previously been vaccinated. We are seeing cases in those who are fully vaccinated.

After testing please ask patients to remain home pending results.

Pertussis is considered infectious from the onset of symptoms until 5 days of appropriate antibiotics have been completed, or 21 days after onset of cough.

Vaccination is important, and boosters are required at least every 10 years due to waning immunity.

FIND OUT MORE ON HEALTHPATHWAYS

See Darling Downs HealthPathways for the Pertussis health pathway.
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