Outbreak of whooping cough

Ten cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in Rossland in the last two months, prompting Interior Health Authority to issue an alert.

  • Aug. 26, 2013 5:00 a.m.

By Della Schafer, Rossland News

Ten cases of whooping cough have been diagnosed in Rossland in the last two months, prompting Interior Health Authority to issue an alert.

Regional medical health officer Dr. Rob Parker said the Golden City and the region bounding it has seen a surge of whooping cough cases in children over the last few weeks.

Since the middle of June, 10 cases have been diagnosed in Rossland and 19 throughout the region, including seven in Trail.

That compares to an average of less than two cases diagnosed at this time of year.

Dr. Parker said the culprit for the outbreak might be lower than normal immunization rates in the city and the West Kootenay, with 65 per cent vaccinated in the area, less than the 90 per cent rate in the rest of the province.

He reminded parents to make sure their children were immunized so they were not at risk.

“The West Kootenay and the Fraser Valley have some of the lowest childhood immunization rates in the province,” he said.

Whooping cough is a respiratory infection that is highly contagious, and causes illness lasting up to two months. Whooping cough can cause serious consequences for any child, he said, but newborns and infants are at greatest risk.

The illness is spread through coughing and the infection is most contagious during early stages.

Dr. Parker said whooping cough “can spread quickly and easily among those who aren’t vaccinated.”

“The best way to protect newborns and infants is through high vaccination rates—also known as herd immunity,” Dr. Parker said.

The last whooping cough outbreak in the region was in 2010.

When a large percentage of a population is vaccinated, a disease can’t take hold, said Dr. Parker.

“When childhood immunization rates fall below 90 per cent we start losing the protection offered by herd immunity and this puts unimmunized children and newborns at increased risk,” he said. “So, it is no surprise that we see recurrent outbreaks of communicable diseases in communities with the lowest immunization rates.”

The classic symptoms of whooping cough are a seizure-likecough, inspiratory whoop, and vomiting after coughing. Violent coughing can cause the cavity between the lungs to rupture.

The cough from whooping cough has been documented to cause hemorrhaging, rib fractures, urinary incontinence, hernias, post-coughing fainting and or dissection of the lining of the vertebral artery.

A tendency to produce the “whooping” sound after coughing may remain for a considerable period after the disease itself has cleared up.

B.C. has a publicly funded immunization program for children and adults that protects against 16 illnesses. Vaccines can be obtained for free from a public health centre. Some Greater Trail pharmacies also offer vaccines for children ages five and older.

To learn more about immunizations, visit Immunize BC at http://immunizebc.ca/.



To help

Dr. Parker recommends that parents review all their children’s immunization records to make sure they are up to date with their shots before the new school year starts.

You can find out what vaccine your child needs on ImmunizeBC at http://immunizebc.ca/vaccine-schedules.

Just Posted

Rossland’s farmer’s market is wilting, but organizers hope to spur new growth

12-year-old market considered taking a year off, says manager

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Rossland Legion supports Skool Aid

Skool Aid assists low-income families in the Lower Columbia

Bilingual child care spaces coming to Castlegar

New daycare opening this summer will teach kids French and English

Motion calls on Rossland city council to recognize ‘climate crisis’

Andy Morel wants to raise awareness of urgent need for action by higher levels of government

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read