Whoop­ing cough out­break wors­ens

Sackville Tribune - - REAL ESTATE/ COMMUNITY -

- Re­ported cases of whoop­ing cough (per­tus­sis) in New Brunswick have dou­bled in the last month, ac­cord­ing to the prov­ince’s chief med­i­cal of­fi­cer of health.

Most cases are oc­cur­ring in chil­dren 10 to 14 years of age, those who are five to nine and chil­dren younger than one.

Whoop­ing cough is a dis­ease of the lin­ing of the res­pi­ra­tory tract caused by the Borde­tella Per­tus­sis bac­terium. It be­gins with cold­like symp­toms, in­clud­ing sneez­ing, runny nose, low-grade fever and mild cough. It wors­ens dur­ing sev­eral weeks to in­clude se­ri­ous cough­ing spells that of­ten end with a “whoop.”

Whoop­ing cough is eas­ily trans­mit­ted from per­son to per­son, mainly through droplets from the nose, mouth and throat of an in­fected per­son. Im­mu­niza­tion of­fers the best pro­tec­tion against the dis­ease.

The rou­tine im­mu­niza­tion sched­ule in New Brunswick rec­om­mends that chil­dren be im­mu­nized against whoop­ing cough at two, four, six and 18 months; be­tween the ages of four and six; one dose dur­ing ado­les­cence; and one booster as an adult.

Those who have not been vac­ci­nated dur­ing the last five years and are in close, reg­u­lar con­tact with chil­dren younger than one are en­cour­aged to con­tact their usual im­mu­niza­tion provider and ar­range for the vac­cine to be ad­min­is­tered.

Ba­sic hy­giene mea­sures such as reg­u­lar hand-wash­ing, dis­pos­ing of tis­sues prop­erly and con­tain­ing coughs and sneezes help con­trol the spread of whoop­ing cough. In­di­vid­u­als who think they or their fam­ily mem­bers might have whoop­ing cough are en­cour­aged to con­tact their health-care provider.

Those be­ing treated for whoop­ing cough are ad­vised to avoid con­tact with those who may be at higher risk, par­tic­u­larly chil­dren younger than one and preg­nant women in their third trimester, un­til they have taken the med­i­ca­tion for five days.

More in­for­ma­tion about whoop­ing cough is on the Depart­ment of Health web­site. Al­ter­na­tively, you may con­tact your lo­cal Public Health of­fice or Telecare.

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