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New cases of whooping cough in Lethbridge: AHS

(AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)

LETHBRIDGE – Alberta Health Services has confirmed 11 new cases of whooping cough in the past week in Lethbridge, the County of Lethbridge and Raymond.

Residents are being reminded to get immunized, ensure their children are up-to-date on their immunizations and take necessary precautions to limit the spread of the infection.

People who are uncertain of their immunization history, or their child’s, can book an appointment with their local community health centre or public health office.

The vaccine that protects against whooping cough is offered to children, free of charge, through Alberta’s Routine Childhood Immunization schedule. It is also available to pregnant women in the third trimester. Adults 18 years of age and older are advised to receive one adult dose of whooping couch-containing vaccine.

In 2019, there have now been 38 confirmed cases of whooping cough in the AHS South Zone. Last year there were 58 confirmed cases.

 

Whooping cough is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing that may last for weeks. It can affect people of all ages, however, infants less than one-year-old are at greatest risk of serious complications including pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and even death.

Other symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, fever and mild cough.

Usually, after a week, the cough will become more severe with repetitive coughing spells. In younger children, these coughing spells are usually followed by a whooping sound when inhaling.

AHS says individuals with a confirmed case should stay home from work, school or childcare until five days of antibiotics have been completed.

For more information about whooping cough visit the AHS website.