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Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
During the last half of 2015, there was an increase in whooping cough (pertussis) in Saskatchewan where clusters of cases occurred in a few health regions. There have been no clusters of whooping cough in Sun Country Health Region (SCHR). Six cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in SCHR in the last 10 years.
Even though the Region rarely experiences whooping cough (pertussis) cases and has not had an outbreak of whooping cough in the last10 years, this is a serious highly contagious infection and it is preventable by pertussis vaccination.
Pertussis causes severe disease in babies less than one year of age and it can cause life-threating pneumonia. Sun Country Health Region is also concerned about whooping cough in pregnancy because a new mother could pass it on to her newborn baby.
Older children and adults who get whooping cough can cough for weeks and spread whooping cough to other vulnerable people (like infants and pregnant women). Pertussis symptoms are more severe and last longer in people who are not vaccinated.
The best way to protect children and yourself from whooping cough (pertussis) is to make sure that everyone gets their whooping cough immunizations on time and all immunizations are completely up to date.
Children are due for pertussis vaccine at 2 (two) months of age, 4 (four) months of age, 6 (six) months of age, 18 months of age and at 4 (four) years of age. Children also receive a booster dose of pertussis vaccine in Grade 8.
Pregnant women who have not had a pertussis vaccine booster after they turned 18 years of age should receive one dose of pertussis vaccine (Tdap) once they are at least 26 weeks along in their pregnancy. The vaccine is safe to receive during pregnancy and when breastfeeding.
Fathers, extended family members, and caregivers in a family where the mother is in the third trimester of pregnancy or if there is an infant under one years of age in the home should also get an adult dose of pertussis vaccine from the Public Health Department if they have not previously received a dose of Tdap after the age of 18.
All adults can receive one dose of pertussis vaccine (Tdap) after the age of 18.
Please call the local Public Health Nurse to make an appointment for a pertussis immunization if you are not up to date.
Contact a Public Health Nurse in your area at:
- Weyburn Public Health 306-842-8618
- Coronach Public Health 306-267-5705
- Radville Public Health 306-869-2555
- Kipling Public Health 306-736-2522
- Carlyle Public Health 306-453-6131
- Redvers Public Health 306-452-4020
- Oxbow Public Health 306-483-2313
- Estevan Public Health 306-637-3626
For more information about whooping cough (pertussis) call your local public health office or go to - http://www.saskatchewan.ca/residents/health/diseases-and-conditions/pertussis-whooping-cough#complications-and-symptoms .
January 21, 2016