Whooping cough is still so dangerous

First published in Letters

I HAVE recently found out that whooping cough is back.

Although my 19-month-old boy has had his vaccinations, he has had these awful coughing fits.

I took him to the doctors and he was diagnosed with croup, so he was sent away with steroids.

After three nights on them he was still bad so I took him back after giving it a couple more nights.

He was then diagnosed with tonsillitis, after a few more nights on antibiotics I knew it wasn’t that.

After researching his symptoms online, I diagnosed him myself with whooping cough.

I videoed one of his attacks, two minutes of coughing and a harsh hoarse type sounding gasp between breaths and sick afterwards!

I took him back and showed the doctor for the third time, she looked baffled at the video and gave some different antibiotics and more steroids.

She was adamant you can’t get it if you have had a vaccination.

After this, he improved on the medicines given, which is the correct medicine for whooping cough.

I found a group in Washington, which was a whooping cough site, that told me you can still get it after being vaccinated, and the problem with the UK is that young babies are dying from the infection because it is not recognised and doctors have never heard of it before.

I sent them my video and they were shocked.

They told me to insist on a test so I called the doctor again. She was still unsure and not that impressed with my persistence.

She called the main hospital, then called me back and said that yes, it’s likely he has had whooping cough and it is possible to get it.

She said as to testing, a blood test will show positive anyway because he’s not long had the vaccination and a swab would be unreliable as it was two weeks since the symptoms started!

Claire Thirlaway, Andover

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