This site is intended for health professionals only

Whooping cough death total rises, one in two think taxes should rise to protect NHS and an increase in boob jobs – for men

The Guardian reports on the news that whooping cough claimed three more babies’ lives in October bringing the total number of deaths of infants under the age of one this year to 13.

Babies are routinely immunised against whooping cough – also known as pertussis – along with diptheria, tetanus and polio from the age of two months, but many of the deaths have occurred while babies are unprotected in the first weeks of life.

According to the Health Protection Agency (HPA), there were 1,614 cases of whooping cough in England and Wales in October, bringing the total this year to 7,728, nearly 10 times higher than the same period in 2008, the previous peak.

Meanwhile the Daily Telegraph reports on a poll by Ipsos Mori, which found one in two people think taxes should rise to protect NHS services.

It found that 48 per cent of people said they wanted to ‘increase taxes in order to maintain the level of spending needed to keep the current level of care and services provided by the NHS’.

A fifth (21 per cent) said spending on other areas like education and welfare should be cut to protect the NHS, while a tenth (11 per cent) said the level of service provided by the NHS should drop so tax rises were not needed.

Elsewhere the BBC reports that the number of men in the UK undergoing breast reduction surgery is continuing to rise.

Figures from the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) show 790 men underwent the procedure in 2011.  That is more than double the number who had it five years earlier.