HEALTH ALERT: Whooping cough confirmed in Toowoomba

BREAKING: A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at a Toowoomba school with a public health official warning the highly infectious disease is back.

Fairholme College principal Linda Evans confirmed a student at the school had tested positive to whooping cough after also contracting influenza A.

Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Penny Hutchinson said the region was seeing a rise in whooping cough cases this year.

"We have had cases this year in schools… what we're finding is the cases tend to be in school-aged children," Dr Hutchinson said.

She said parents worried about their children experiencing symptoms should visit a doctor.

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"With whooping cough it comes in cycles, we had a big epidemic of whooping cough and in 2011/12 we had huge numbers then it drops off."

"But it's starting again, it's usually in a four year cycle."

Whooping cough is a vaccination preventable disease.

"The numbers are starting to increase, we've seen it around the state that the numbers of whooping cough numbers are increasing again," she said.

"You do need to go to the doctor because the antibiotics used actually reduces the period where you're infectious to others."

Dr Hutchinson said small incidences were not released due to identification concerns.

The most vulnerable group is infants under six months, as it can be a fatal disease.


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