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Whooping cough still a concern as school approaches

With the first day of school approaching, parents should remember a recent spike in potentially fatal whooping cough has only just began to drop.
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September 03, 2015 - 2:30 PM

THOMPSON-OKANAGAN - With the first day of school approaching, parents should remember a recent spike in potentially fatal whooping cough has only just began to drop.

“We have been in communciations with schools informing parents about communicable diseases in general and the fact we have been observing increased cases of whooping cough,” Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi says.

The medical health officer with the Interior Health Authority confirmed there have been 103 confirmed cases, up from early August when it first announced there had been a spike in whooping cough, also known as pertussis, with 58 confirmed cases, including 36 cases concentrated in the Okanagan region.

Golmohammadi says that doesn’t include cases where the symptoms were so mild, patients did not seek treatment.

While no deaths have been reported within the health region, whooping cough can be fatal. While most cases are mild, some patients will develop pneumonia or encephalitis which can lead to death.

“It can be lethal. Mortality is an unfortunate possibility especially in newborns and infants under one year of age,” he adds.

Golmohammadi says the pattern in recent years has been for whooping cough cases to increase over the summer months and subside again in the fall and winter.

With that in mind, Golmohammadi urges parents to get in touch with public health in their area if their children are not up to date with their vaccinations.

If in doubt, parents can find out about checking immunization records at ImmunizeBC.

To contact the reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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