THE alarming rise in whooping cough has not hit children in Halton, say health chiefs.

There were 675 cases in England and Wales in June, bringing the total to 2,466. At this stage last year, there had only been 311 cases.

A spokesman for NHS Halton, said: “In Halton, we saw only one case of whooping cough in 2011 and have so far had no confirmed cases in 2012.

“While this is good news, it is important for parents to remain vigilant and we continue to encourage parents to have their children vaccinated as soon as they are invited.”

In Halton during 2011/12, 92.2% of children aged 12 months had been vaccinated against whooping cough, and of children aged two, 95.5% of children had received innoculations.

Anyone showing symptoms, such as severe coughing fits, accompanied by the characteristic ‘whoop’ sound, should visit their GP.