Whooping Cough on the rise in Saskatchewan

Rebecca Lawrence
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Five Hills Health Region

People in the Five Hills Health Region are being urged not to delay whooping cough vaccinations for infants and ensure inoculations for older children are up to date.

Cases of whooping cough, or pertussis, are on the rise in Saskatchewan - although no cases have been diagnosed in this area.

Since January 2010, there have been about 120 cases of pertussis reported in the province, primarily in young children and teenagers.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection. The symptoms are a dry, irritating cough that becomes more frequent and severe, sometimes ending with vomiting or shortness of breath.

"We do not have any cases in Moose Jaw but we are following the provincial program of the cocooning strategy," Five Hills Health Region Medical Health Officer Dr. Mark Vooght said.

Vooght said mothers and caregivers of infants are urged to get the adult pertussis booster to prevent infection passing on to the child.

"Mothers can either receive it through the maternal visiting program at the hospital or shortly after that in their homes.

"The reason for that is the province has seen cases of whooping cough in infants, especially before the age they can be immunized."

Read more in a future Times-Herald edition.

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Moose Jaw

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