People in the Cowichan Valley are reminded to ensure they are up to date with their vaccinations after a case of whooping cough was confirmed in Duncan. (File photo)

Case of whooping cough confirmed in Duncan

Island Health sends letters to potential exposure sites in the area

An adult case of whooping cough has been confirmed in Duncan.

Island Health spokeswoman Cheryl Bloxham said letters were sent on March 8 to potential exposure sites in the area, including St. John Ambulance’s Youth Program, the Chalkboard Theatre group and the Regent Online Christian Academy, which meets in person at Oasis Church twice a week.

She said communicable disease nurses followed up with those who were in immediate contact with the individual.

“There are no high-risk contacts,” Bloxham said. “This is a reminder for everyone to check your immunization status and stay up to date with vaccinations.”

RELATED STORY: TESTS CONFIRM COWICHAN CHILD DOES NOT HAVE MEASLES

It’s the second confirmed case of whooping cough in the south Island during the past week.

Island Health sent another letter out last week to the Mount Douglas Secondary School community that a case of whooping cough had been confirmed at the school.

RELATED STORY: WHOOPING COUGH CONFIRMED AT VANCOUVER ISLAND HIGH SCHOOL

Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a serious infection of the airways caused by pertussis bacteria.

People of any age can get whooping cough, but young children who have not been immunized get sicker than older children and adults.

Whooping cough can cause complications such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or even death.

These complications happen most often in infants under one year of age.

Each year in Canada, one to three deaths occur due to whooping cough, mostly in babies less than three months of age who have not been immunized.

Whooping cough spreads easily when an infected person coughs, sneezes or has close contact with others.

Sharing food, drinks or cigarettes, or kissing someone who has the pertussis bacteria can also put you at risk.

Whooping cough can be spread to others during the early stages of the infection when symptoms are not severe and if left untreated, it can spread up to three weeks after the cough starts.

Whooping cough starts like a common cold with symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, mild fever and a mild cough.

Over the next two weeks, the cough gets worse, leading to severe, repeated, and forceful coughing spells that often end with a whooping sound before the next breath.

The cough of pertussis can last several months and occurs more often at night.

The cough can make a person gag or spit out mucous, and make it hard to take a breath.

In babies, whooping cough can cause periods of apnea in which their breathing is interrupted.

There are a number of pertussis vaccines available in B.C. that protect against whooping cough.

The whooping cough vaccines are provided in combination with other vaccines such as diphtheria, polio and tetanus and are free as part of a child’s routine immunizations.

A whooping cough vaccine is also available for older children and adults.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

List of businesses and services now open in Ladysmith

The Chronicle is compiling on ongoing list of businesses in Ladysmith that are now open

Man claims Ladysmith Bylaw Officer accused him of ‘squatting’ at Transfer Beach

Remley believes the officer was profiling him because of his long hair and long beard

School district reveals restart plans for Nanaimo-Ladysmith

K-5 students will see two days of instruction a week, 6-12 students once a week

Ladysmith A&W plans community Rod Run for June 4

Cruisin’ the Dub will look a little different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Ladysmith centenarian honoured with birthday parade

Kay Rozzano said she’s been looking forward to this birthday ‘for 100 years’

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of the world of summer sports

In a typical year, there are plenty of summer sporting events and tournaments held across Canada

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killings shatters U.S.

Tens of thousands marched to protest the death of George Floyd

Surrey mayor’s party under fire for ‘sickening’ tweet accusing northern B.C. RCMP of murder

Mayor Doug McCallum says tweet, Facebook post ‘sent out by unauthorized person’

Father’s Day Walk Run for prostate cancer will be virtual event this year throughout B.C.

The annual fundraiser for Prostate Cancer Foundation BC has brought in $2.5 million since 1999

Dr. Bonnie Henry announces official ban on overnight kids’ camps this summer

New ban comes after talking with other provincial health officials across the country, Henry says

Senior man in hospital after unprovoked wolf attack near Prince Rupert

Conservation officers are on site looking for the wolf

VIDEO: NASA astronauts blast off into space on SpaceX rocket

Marks NASA’s first human spaceflight launched from U.S. soil in nearly a decade

‘I knew what he wanted’: Kootenay man spends hours in tree as black bear patrols below

Francis Levasseur is no stranger to the outdoors, but a recent run-in with a bear caused quite a scare

Most Read