Whooping cough outbreak rumours untrue: health service

RUMOURS of a whooping cough outbreak at local schools have been dispelled by a spokesman from the Wide Bay Hospital and Health Service.

Hervey Bay and Maryborough social media groups were buzzing with speculation from concerned parents that a whooping cough case had been diagnosed at a Hervey Bay school.

However, the spokesman said all cases of whooping cough, both within hospital facilities and at GP clinics, were notifiable to the public health unit and there had been no recent cases in children or young adults.

"Pertussis notifications this year are the lowest of the past five years," the spokesman said.

There have been seven laboratory confirmed cases so far this year, compared with 101 at this time in 2011, 78 in 2012, 45 in 2012 and 30 in 2014.

"Pertussis numbers can increase at any time and it is important to maintain control measures, particularly to protect infants who are most vulnerable to severe disease," the spokesman said.

The Wide Bay has one of the highest rates of immunisation in Queensland, with about 93.76% of the region's children fully vaccinated by the age of five.

Queensland-wide, the average immunisation rate is just over 92%.


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