Alarm over possible whooping cough outbreak in Kazakhstan  

Doctors sound the alarm over a possible whooping cough outbreak in Kazakhstan




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Health workers are urging parents to get their act together and have their children vaccinated   against whooping cough.


Instances of whooping cough are continuing to grow at an alarming rate among young children. In the first three months of this year alone, nearly 400 young children with symptoms of this serious and infectious respiratory disease have been registered in Kazakhstan. Ninety per cent are infants under five years of age, reports 24KZ.


According to the country’s Ministry of Health, the biggest increase in the number of cases has been in the Astana, Karaganda, Atyrau, Pavlodar and Aktobe regions.


Children in Kazakhstan must be given three vaccinations against the disease: the first at two months old, the second at one and a half years old and the third at six years of age. However, a very disturbing trend is developing with many parents refusing to have their children vaccinated, the effects of which have been seen in Astana’s city hospital for child infectious diseases number three where 204 children with whooping cough have already been admitted this year, 116 of whom were hospitalised due to complications from the disease.


Zhanar Bokenova, head of the hospital’s infectious diseases’ department, said that most of these children haven’t been vaccinated. Doctors warn of the seriousness of whooping cough whose symptoms include persistent coughing, vomiting, seizures and which can, in rare cases, cause a fatal brain haemorrhage. They stress to parents that timely vaccination is the only way to prevent the disease.




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