LETHBRIDGE (660 NEWS) — Alberta Health Services has declared a whooping cough outbreak.
Covering the western part of AHS’ south zone — including Lethbridge, Lethbridge County and Raymond.
It’s because of 15 confirmed cases in those areas in the past two weeks, bringing the total number of cases this year to 42 in the zone.
Fifteen new cases of #pertussis (#whoopingcough) over the last two weeks have prompted Alberta Health Services to declare an outbreak in the west part of South Zone. Immunization is the best method to protect against & limit the spread of pertussis. https://t.co/kf87n1TJxl pic.twitter.com/KdVf0OW9uh
— AHS South Zone (@AHS_SouthZone) October 16, 2019
The bacterial infection, pertussis, causes severe coughing that can last for weeks and impacts all age groups. However, infants one year and under are at greater risk of serious complications.
Symptoms at the beginning include a runny nose, sneezing, fever, and mild cough.
Then over the span of a week, the cough will be more severe with coughing spells.
Health officials are reminding people to not share water bottles, lipstick, lip balm or drinks, and if you suspect you or a family member may develop pertussis you are recommended to stay at home and call a family physician or 811 before seeking medical care.
AHS is stressing the importance of getting vaccinated against whooping cough — you can find more info at ImmunizeAlberta.ca