Whooping cough cases top 5,000; elderly patient dies

new baby hand in adult hand

The number of reported cases of whooping cough in the Netherlands rose by 1,800 in the first two weeks of April, including 50 babies. A further person has died, this time an adult over the age of 80.

Most first developed symptoms in March but did not visit their doctor until this month, which means it is unclear whether the number of cases is rising. However, the total is “very high” when compared with previous years, public health institute RIVM said. 

Health experts have blamed the downturn in vaccination rates for the increase.

So far 5,303 cases of whooping cough have been registered with the authorities, including 276 babies. Almost half the babies have been hospitalised and four have died so far. The last time more than four babies died of whooping cough was in 1964 when six babies were killed.

The number of reports of measles, which also surged last month, does appear to be dropping, the RIVM said. 

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