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VIDEO: Cornish Mum Tells of Baby's Whooping Cough Terror

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6:01am 29th June 2012

A Cornish baby has been left fighting for his life after catching whooping cough.

Eleven week old Ryley ended up being rushed to hospital in an ambulance as he battled to breathe.

He ended up on the high dependency ward as his worried parents looked on.

Now his mum wants other parents to watch a video taken of Ryley so they know the symptoms.

Kelly from Truro told Pirate FM, "In between his coughing he was absolutely fine but while he was coughing he couldn't catch his breath so he was almost a blue colour. It was scary.

"He was all wired up. He had to be fed through a tube. He spent three days on high dependency and seven days in total in hospital. He's still coughing. He's been coughing now for two months.

"The nurses said the outcome could be a lot different to what it is now. Because he wasn't catching his own breath he could easily have ended up unconscious. I think it's really important parents know the symptoms and take them to the doctors if they think it could be whooping cough."

Pirate FM has learnt cases of whooping cough in the southwest have already hit more than five hundred this year. That is double the number for the whole of 2011.

Dr Isabel Oliver South West Regional Director for the Health Protection Agency said, “The recent increases reported to the South West may be due to greater awareness of the infection and reporting of cases by healthcare professionals. Nonetheless, whooping cough can be a very unpleasant infection.

“Anyone showing signs and symptoms – which include severe coughing fits accompanied by the characteristic “whoop” sound in young children but as a prolonged cough in older children and adults – should visit their GP.”

“If the infection is caught at an early stage, it can be treated effectively with a course of antibiotics and this will also prevent onward spread. This is very important as whooping cough can spread easily to close contacts such as household members.

“Vaccination is the most effective way to protect from the infection and uptake of the vaccine is very good. Parents should ensure their children are up to date with their vaccinations so that they are protected at the earliest opportunity.

“The pre-school booster is also important, not only to boost protection in that child but also to reduce the risk of them passing the infection on to vulnerable babies, as those under four months cannot be fully protected by the vaccine.”

6:01am 29th June 2012

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