Warning as whooping cough claims life of baby and leaves another seriously unwell
A baby has died from whooping cough - prompting a call on all pregnant women to get the vaccine.
The death occurred in the Co Longford region following an outbreak of the disease affecting 11 children, mainly babies under two months who are too young to get the jab.
One baby was seriously unwell and another baby died from the infection, the HSE confirmed.
GPs in the Irish Medical Organisation said they were seeing a rise in whooping cough among newborns.
GP spokeswoman Dr Padraig McGarry warned it was highly contagious and "incredibly distressing for both baby and mother and the consequences for a young baby can be very serious, even fatal".
Pregnant women should get the jab as it gives babies protection in the first months of life. The optimal time to receive the vaccine is between 16 and 36 weeks' gestation.
"If a mother has not been vaccinated by the 36th week of her pregnancy, it is still a good idea to get vaccinated," Dr McGarry said. The vaccine is given to babies at two, four and six months of age. It is given as a four-in-one jab at four to five years of age.