Concern for hospital attendees

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PATIENTS who have recently attended Forth Valley Royal Hospital are being been advised to check with their GPs if they appear to have symptoms of whooping cough.

Two members of staff at the hospital in Larbert have recently been confirmed with whooping cough. Two other staff members are suspected of having the infection.

NHS Forth Valley has reviewed attendances at the emergency department between August 18 and September 7 to identify any higher risk patients who may require follow up treatment.

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 being offered treatment.

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.

“Should anyone have concerns about whooping cough they should contact their GP or NHS 24 for advice.”

*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. The early symptoms of whooping cough are often similar to those of a common cold.”