Two members of staff who work in the Emergency Department at Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert have recently been confirmed with whooping cough. Two other members of the department are also suspected of having the infection.
Whooping cough is usually a relatively mild illness which does not normally pose a serious health risk. However as a precautionary measure NHS Forth Valley has reviewed attendances at the Emergency Department between 18th August and 7th September 2012* to identify any higher risk patients who may require follow up.
As a result staff are contacting the parents of 25 babies under the age of six months to offer treatment with a short course of antibiotics. All staff within the Emergency Department are also being offered treatment, again as a precautionary measure.
Dr Henry Prempeh, Consultant in Public Health Medicine, NHS Forth Valley, said: "The chances of contracting the illness from a member of staff is relatively low. However we are offering patients who are at higher risk from the infection follow up treatment as an extra precaution."
The risk to other patients who attended the Emergency Department is very low. Should anyone have concerns about whooping cough they should contact their GP or NHS 24 for advice.
Notes to Editors
More than 1000 cases of whooping cough have been reported by GPs from across Scotland since the start of the year.
NHS 24 can be contacted on 08454 242424.
*The incubation period for Whooping Cough is up to 21 days - this is when an individual may not yet have any symptoms but could be infectious to others.
NHS Forth Valley
Castle Business Park
t - 01786 463031