Whooping cough diagnoses triple in year
WHOOPING cough notifications in New South Wales have tripled since this time last year, with the State Opposition calling for a renewed counter-attack on the anti-vaxer movement.
NSW Health data shows there have been 2831 notifications made so far this year, compared to just 911 between January and June 2014.
Doctors and hospitals are required to alert public health units through "notifications" whenever new cases of whooping cough are diagnosed.
Shadow Health Minister Walt Secord said recent outbreaks in Coffs Harbour, Bellingen, Wollongong, the Hills District and the Sutherland Shire were cause for concern.
"The worst part of this increase in whooping cough incidences in NSW is that many of them were preventable," he said.
"Due to declining vaccination rates, there are outbreaks in NSW every three or four years.
"Vaccination and fluoride are 20th century achievements. Vaccinations work and save lives.
"Sadly, large-scale vaccinations have allowed a small fringe to become complacent about the welfare of our nation's children."
Mr Secord said he would offer bipartisan support to any sensible measures the Baird Government took to increase the state's vaccination rate.
"We do not allow people to not wear seatbelts and ignore speed limits based on their own beliefs, and we should not allow people to refuse to immunise their children," he said.
"It is heartbreaking to see that immunisation rates on the North Coast and Sydney's east have slipped to the levels of the developing world."
NSW WHOOPING COUGH NOTIFICATIONS
2015 (so far): 2831