Whooping chough outbreak over in Prince Rupert, Haida Gwaii

Northern Health announced that the pertussis — or whooping cough — is over in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.

Northern Health announced that the pertussis — or whooping cough — is over in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii.

Since the beginning of the year there have been 229 reported cases of pertussis in the Northern Health region including 166 in Prince Rupert and Haida Gwaii combined.

“Even though the outbreak is officially over, it is important people take the necessary steps to protect themselves against pertussis. Getting immunized is the best protection against pertussis, and it also protects your loved ones that fit into the more vulnerable populations,” said Dr. Sandra Allison, chief medical health officer of Northern Health.

A severe infection of the airways caused by pertussis bacteria, whooping cough starts like a cold with symptoms like runny nose, sneezing, mild fever and a moderate cough. However, the coughing will become more serious over the following weeks, leading to forceful, repeated coughing spells that will often end with a whooping sound before the next breath is taken.

The pertussis vaccine is part of the regular childhood vaccinations, also being given to teens. Adults can protect themselves by getting the vaccination, with Northern B.C. residents being encouraged to contact their local health units or health care provider to ensure they and their families are immunized.