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Alberta Health: Pertussis Outbreak

Please read the following information from Alberta Health South Zone regarding a recent outbreak of Pertussis in the south zone.

A Pertussis (Whooping cough) outbreak was declared in South Zone on 5 June 2107, with 17 confirmed cases this year, 12 of which were reported this week and which are all linked. It is expected that there is more Pertussis circulating in the community, as many people with the disease may not seek medical attention. Given historical and immunization data, it is predicted that this illness will spread over the next number of months.

Whooping cough (Pertussis)

Signs and symptoms

Why is the disease serious?

How you can protect your child?

  1. Immunization is the best method to protect your child and limit the spread of disease to others. Parents should ensure their children are vaccinated according to Alberta’s Routine Childhood Immunization schedule:http://www.health.alberta.ca/health-info/imm-routine-schedule.html
  2. In Southern Alberta, pregnant women in the third trimester (26 weeks) are offered Pertussis containing vaccine to protect mother and child in the first weeks after birth.
  3. All adults, 18 years of age and older, are recommended to have received one adult dose of Pertussis containing vaccine
  4. Encourage your child to not share water bottles, lipstick, lip balm, drinks.

Please contact your local Public Health office to review immunization records and/or make an appointment (see the attached list of offices in southern Alberta).

Treatment

Contacts of confirmed cases with Pertussis
Public health will follow up with contacts of confirmed cases. Antibiotics to prevent infection are only recommended for certain at risk people (infants and pregnant women in their third trimester or their family members), NOT for all contacts.
Contact your health care provider if you suspect that you or your child has Pertussis.

For health advice and information, call Health Link Alberta, 24-hours a day, 811.

Sincerely,

Vivien Suttorp, MD, MPH, CCFP, FCFP
Lead Medical Officer of Health
Alberta Health Services – South Zone

Karin Goodison, MD, MPH, FRCPC
Medical Officer of Health
Alberta Health Services – South Zone

Lena Derie-Gillespie, MD, BSW, CCFP
Medical Officer of Health
Alberta Health Services – South Zone