An outbreak of whooping cough in the Rosthern, Wakaw, Hague, Hepburn, and Waldheim areas in recent weeks prompted the Health Authority to run special drop-in immunization clinics in Rosthern the last two days.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, can be serious in infants and pregnant women. The bacterial disease is highly contagious and it can present in cold or flu-like symptoms with a ‘whooping’ sound while breathing in during coughing bouts.
Medical Health Officer Dr Khami Chokani says it's crucial people get themselves and their children vaccinated to build a herd immunity and to do the right thing if they're unwell.
“Make sure you’re covering your cough; make sure you’re washing your hands and if you’re feeling unwell don’t go to gatherings but see your family physician,” Dr Chokani told paNOW.
He couldn’t say from where the outbreak originated.
“It’s difficult to say because it’s that time of the year, so it might just have all culminated in us having it around this particular area. but where it came from we’re not sure,” he said.
The Saskatchewan Health Authority said in an email to paNOW, the majority of children are not up to date or only partially immunized against pertussis.
The cluster of cases since Oct.1 had seen a total of 22 people with the disease, and one infant had been hospitalized. Over half of the cases were among children under the age of five. Thirty-six per cent of the cases involved children between five and 14 years, with the remainder between 15 and 19 years.
There was no specific number on the amount of people who attended the special drop-in clinic in Rosthern Thursday and Friday although Dr Chokani said things had been “steady.”
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