'Health alert' for Gladstone after woman struck by disease

EVE Pengelly did all the right things to protect herself from a harmful infection but it wasn't enough.

This week she was shocked to find out she had whooping cough after being sick for two months.

>>LISTEN: 'Hard to breathe': Gladstone dad passes on 'horrible' disease to son

The 66-year-old had the whooping cough vaccine 12 months ago.

Ms Pengelly, who said she was on the mend, is one of 40 central Queensland residents to catch the disease this year.

Gladstone Central Medical Centre shared the news on its Facebook page as a "health alert".

"Please be aware of the symptoms and see your doctor with any suspicions and concerns. We can also provide vaccinations and boosters," it said.

>>Gladstone has almost run out of whooping cough vaccine

Eve Pengelly has caught whooping cough despite having the vaccine 12 months ago.
Eve Pengelly has caught whooping cough despite having the vaccine 12 months ago.

Whooping cough, a highly contagious bacterial disease, can be life threatening for babies and young children.

Ms Pengelly is now on her fifth round of antibiotics in a bid to kick the infection, but she said the hardest part was spending time away from her grandson.

"When they told me, I said to the lady 'I didn't think you could get it with the injection', and she said she had heard of it happening before," she said.

"I've never been this sick before; I went through five boxes of tissues in a month.

"But what makes it worse is not being able to see your family."

In the meantime, Ms Pengelly will spend plenty of time inside.

She has been told by her doctor to stay in "isolation" for 10 days while the infection passes.

Public Health physician Kerryn Coleman said the best way to prevent catching whooping cough was by having the vaccine.

"It is important to check your child is up to date with their immunisations, including against whooping cough," Dr Coleman said.

"We are also strongly recommending that pregnant women get a pertussis vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy as this provides protection directly to their newborn baby," she said.

"Vaccination is the most important way to reduce whooping cough in our community and provides good protection to young children."



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