First there was norovirus, then came flu and next there will be whooping cough as figures show there have been 9,000 cases this year

First came norovirus, now it's the start of flu season and an outbreak of whooping cough Number of whooping cough cases increased by nearly ten times last yearFigures for November show a total of 1,080 confirmed casesMeanwhile, flu cases highest in children aged five to 14, says HPANorth East England appears to be worst affected area of the country Doctors given the green light to prescribe antivirals to those who need themThose in at-risk groups yet to be vaccinated are urged to have flu jab | UPDATED: 16:02 GMT, 22 December 2012 The number of cases of whooping cough has jumped from 944 last year to nearly 9,000 this year, according to the latest figures After doctors up and down the country have dealt with an influx of patients suffering from norovirus, followed up by a wave of flu patients, medical staff are now gearing themselves for people needing help for whooping cough.

More winter health misery as the flu season kicks off

More winter health misery as the flu season kicks off, with schoolchildren worst affected Cases highest in children aged five to 14, says Health Protection AgencyNorth East England appears to be worst affected area of the country Doctors given the green light to prescribe antivirals to those who need themThose in at-risk groups yet to be vaccinated are urged to have flu jab | UPDATED: 10:07 GMT, 21 December 2012 The winter flu season has kicked off, parents have been warned, after an increase in the number of school children falling ill with the infection The flu season has begun, parents have been warned, after an increase in the number of children aged five to 14 falling ill. Doctors were yesterday given the green light to prescribe antiviral medication to those who need it and people most at risk of the infection were urged to have a flu jab. Dr Richard Pebody, head of seasonal flu surveillance at the Health Protection Agency (HPA) said: 'We are seeing an increase in flu activity mainly among school children indicating the start of this year's flu season.' Flu cases in children aged five to 14 have doubled in the past week to reach almost 17 cases per 100,000.