Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Northern Health issues reminder on whopping cough protection
A media bulletin posted to the Northern Health website outlines the current nature of Pertussis (whooping cough), with four laboratory confirmed cases of whooping cough in the Northern Health service region, three of them in the Northwest.
The bulletin also advises that a growing number of individuals in the are have had close contact with the cases, increasing their risk of infection, if not immunized.
Pertussis is a highly infectious respiratory bacterial condition that affects all ages.
Northern Health outlines the nature of the infection here, including which groups are at most risk.
The pertussis vaccine is part of the regular childhood vaccination program, with the last vaccine administered to children in Grade 9. Adults can also get protection through vaccination.
The normal course of the infection is as a common cold, progressing to a cough. That can become severe and may be accompanied by gasping or gagging, as well as shortness of breath and fever. In some cases pneumonia can be contracted.
Residents of Northern BC are being encouraged to contact their local health units or their health care provider to discuss their need for the vaccine to protect themselves and their families from the infection.
Health Link BC provides a comprehensive review of the condition here, with a variety of translations available from the website as well.