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'Bygone' diseases are making a comeback

Cases of whooping cough have more than doubled in England and Wales over the last five years, government figures suggest.

There were 386 cases of pertussis recorded in 2003 but provisional data for 2007 suggest that the number of cases will top 1,071. The figures were revealed in parliament following a question by the Liberal Democrats.

Pertussis vaccine uptake remained stable at around 93-94% over the period and the Department of Health claimed the disease tended to fluctuate in four year cycles.

However, the latest figures also revealed that there appeared to have been increases in cholera, tuberculosis and typhoid between 2003 and 2007, but actual case numbers remain low.

‘People will be shocked to hear that disease which belonged to a bygone era are making a comeback,’ claimed Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Norman Lamb.

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