IBTimes UK

Nearly 47 people, including infants have been infected with whooping cough in Singapore this year.

A spokesperson from the Ministry of Health (MOH) said more than half of the cases reported in 2016 and 2015 occurred in infants aged less than six months.

"(They) had either not yet received, or had not completed the primary course of pertussis vaccination," said the spokesperson. "These young children do not have adequate protection against the disease and are more prone to acquiring an infection," the spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia.

Children are vaccinated against pertussis under the National Childhood Immunisation Programme in Singapore. Three doses of vaccination are given before they reach the age of five months and later they receive two boosters when they are at the age of 18 months and 10 to 11 years.

Whooping cough is caused by a bacterium known as bordetella pertussis. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, it can spread very easily through air. Whooping cough can be extremely serious and dangerous for young children.

The MOH published a statistics on its website which showed that the number of whooping cough cases has more than doubled since 2012. From 24 in 2012, it increased up to 57 cases in 2015.

As the number of infected people are increasing every year, MOH is reminding all the parents to get their children vaccinated against pertussis in order to avoid such diseases.

"It is important to ensure that their young children receive the required doses of the vaccination on time," the MOH spokesperson said.

Dr. Ong Kian Chung, a respiratory specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital told Channel NewsAsia that the symptoms of whooping cough are very similar to common cold. Hence, it is very hard to detect this disease. The disease is often diagnosed at a later stage in adults and children.

Dr. Ong urged that the adults should also go for vaccination of this particular disease, especially those who are in contact with infants.

IBTimes UK