There have been no new reported cases of whooping cough in Northland in recent days although the Ministry of Health has declared a national outbreak.
In Northland, so far this year there have been 48 notifications of whooping cough compared with nine last year and 36 in 2015. Twenty-five of this year's cases were from the Ngunguru area, one a baby requiring hospitalisation.
Outbreaks of the disease occur every three to five years. This current one has seen 1315 cases in New Zealand since the beginning of the year.
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Whooping cough (also called pertussis) is a serious illness, spread by coughing and sneezing caused by bacteria which damage the breathing tubes.
Northland health officials are advising pregnant women to get their free immunisation against whooping cough between 28 and 38 weeks of pregnancy, which will pass immunity to their unborn babies.
Northland District Health Board spokesman Dr Jose Ortega Benito said babies under 1-year-old were most vulnerable to the highly contagious disease. Babies can have free jabs at 6 weeks, 3 months and 5 months old. Any siblings should be up-to-date with their free boosters, given at 4 and 11 years of age.
Babies with whooping cough often have trouble feeding and breathing.
Symptoms include intense bouts of coughing, which bring up thick phlegm; a "whoop" sound with each sharp intake of breath after coughing; vomiting after coughing, especially in infants and young children; and redness in the face from the effort of coughing.
The previous outbreak began in August 2011, peaking in December 2013, with about 11,000 cases. Three young children died from the disease in that period.