NSW Health invites all pregnant women and new parents to become aware of the symptoms of whooping cough and to ensure that they and their children are vaccinated on time.
Although almost 95% of infants in the NSA are already vaccinated against the disease, epidemics are still occurring every three to four years as community immunity decreases and recent high values indicate that an outbreak may occur.
Dr. Vicki Shepherd, director of infectious diseases at NSW Health, said that in October 2018 almost 800 people in the NSI had been notified of whooping cough (pertussis), at most since October 2016.
Northgate Public Health Executive Director Greg Bell said a similar situation occurred in northern NSW, where 36 cases of whooping cough were reported during the last four weeks.
Although these levels of donkey cough in the northern part of the NSA are similar to the average over the previous five years, the pertussis notifications move upwards.
The latest quarterly report of the Australian Immunization Registry shows that in September 2018, 90.4% of the five-year-olds and 88.9% of the 12-month-olds in the NSW Local Health Area were fully vaccinated.
These figures represent an increase in the vaccination rate in 2010 during the northern coastal health service where 84.9% of children aged 5 and 87% of 12-month-old children are fully vaccinated.
Even in highly vaccinated populations, it is not possible to eliminate donut cough.
"The cranial cough is a challenge to control at the community level as it is a highly infectious disease and the immune to donkey cough changes over time, whether that immunity is from the disease or as a result of vaccination," said Mr. Bel .
"This means that the number of people susceptible to donkey cough in society accumulates over time and this may cause periodic spikes or larger outbreaks of the disease.
"The purpose of donkey cough control is to protect babies who are at the highest risk of serious illness or death if they have a severe cough." Vaccination against cough is effective in preventing severe infections.