FIFTEEN cases of whooping cough have been recorded in Cheshire West following an outbreak across the country.

A bacterial infection, which many will mistake for cold or flu symptoms, whooping cough has seen a surge of cases this year.

The interactive map below shows the areas across the UK which have been hit hardest, with health officials recording 1,141 cases this year – a 26 per cent increase over the past two years combined.

The number of cases recorded so far this year in Cheshire West and Chester, make it one of the worst 15 local authorities in the country. 

What are the symptoms?

The first signs of whooping cough can easily be mistaken for cold symptoms, with a runny nose, sore throat, or in some rare cases a high temperature.

After a week however, a whooping cough will progress to nasty minutes-long coughing fits which worsen at night.

You may also make a ‘whoop’ sound between breaths, though young babies and some adults may not.

Other symptoms include a difficulty breathing, and commonly adults will go red in the face.

While the initial symptoms can be annoying, whooping cough has the potential to be more serious.

Also known as the ‘100-day cough’, symptoms can last for more than three months. 

The NHS is advising pregnant woman to get vaccinated to prevent them passing on whooping cough to their newborn babies.

Anyone which the following applies is urged to contact 111 or make an emergency GP appointment:

  • your baby is less than six months old and has symptoms of whooping cough
  • you or your child have a very bad cough that is getting worse
  • you've been in contact with someone with whooping cough and you're pregnant
  • you or your child has been in contact with someone with whooping cough and have a weakened immune system

Whooping cough can be spread very easily, with the NHS recommending you call the GP before you go in. The GP may suggest talking over the phone for safety.