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Pertussis confirmed in south zone

Eleven new cases of pertussis, or whooping cough as it is commonly known, have been confirmed in the south zone of Alberta Health Services.
The cases are in Lethbridge, the County of Lethbridge and Raymond.
There have now been 38 confirmed cases of pertussis in 2019 in the south zone.
There were 58 confirmed cases in the south zone last year.
Immunization is the best method to protect against and limit the spread of pertussis.
Alberta Health Services urges south zone residents to ensure they are up-to-date on their immunizations.
Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing that may last for weeks.
Pertussis can affect all age groups however infants one year of age and younger are at greatest risk of serious complications, including pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and even death.
In Alberta, vaccine that protects against pertussis is offered to children, free of charge, through Alberta’s routine childhood immunization schedule.
Pregnant women in the third trimester are also offered pertussis-containing vaccine.
All adults 18 years of age and older are advised to receive one adult dose of pertussis-containing vaccine.
People are reminded not to share water bottles, lipstick, lip balm or drinks.
Pertussis illness starts with a runny nose, sneezing, fever and mild cough.
Typically, over about a week, the cough will become more severe with repetitive coughing spells.
In younger children, these coughing spells are usually followed by a “whooping” sound when inhaling.
Vomiting following a coughing spell is also common in young children.
Older children and adults may experience milder symptoms, such as a prolonged cough with or without fits or whooping sound.

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