Health authorities are alerting southern Alberta homeowners to take safety measures after a current spike of whooping cough cases.
Eleven cases have been verified in the past week in both grownups and children in Lethbridge, the County of Lethbridge and Raymond, including one case at Raymond Elementary School.
Officials said the 11 cases reported in three neighborhoods over the past week raises issues.
“When cases are locally obtained without any travel history, that constantly makes us a little concerned from a public health viewpoint,” stated Dr. Vivian Suttorp with Alberta Health Services.
Particularly concerning for health authorities are those cases that have actually emerged out of neighborhoods and schools with low immunization rates.
According to Suttorp, some schools in the location have pertussis immunization rates as low as 20 percent — a warning for officials given the fact that whooping cough is spread out easily.
“If someone has it, it’s 21 days people can be infectious. It’s a long time,” she said.
Whooping cough is an extremely contagious disease that brings with it a spectrum of illness. Kids and infants usually have more severe symptoms compared to grownups, and children might be at threat of problems like pneumonia and death.
Even adults who have had the disease or have actually been vaccinated in the past could have waning resistance, Suttorp said.
“It makes a great deal of grownups susceptible to illness too, making them also spreading out illness in the neighborhood,” she said. “So we have 11 validated cases,. We know there are more out there. These have actually been locally acquired, and we know there is more disease out there.”
Health officials are not yet calling the spike a break out.
“Not an outbreak at this point, but we wanted people to understand that there is a boost in events and to make sure to take suitable precautions,” Suttorp stated.
Previous break out
Health officials voiced similar concerns around immunization rates in the location from Fort Macleod to Coaldale prior to the bigger outbreak.
“Given the a great deal of unimmunized individuals who reside in this area, and children particularly, we’re quite worried that this is going to be an extended outbreak,” Suttorp informed CBC in 2017.
There have actually been 38 cases of whooping cough up until now this year in southern Alberta.
Suttorp stated those with whooping cough should stay at home for five days up until their prescription antibiotics are complete.
Whooping cough is an extremely contagious illness that brings with it a spectrum of health problem.”It makes a lot of grownups susceptible to illness as well, making them likewise spreading out disease in the community,” she stated. “So we have 11 validated cases,. We understand there are more out there.