Spike in Smithers whooping cough cases

A spike in the number of whooping cough cases in Smithers has prompted Northern Health to encourage more people to consider immunization.

A spike in the number of whooping cough cases in Smithers has prompted Northern Health to encourage more people to consider immunizing their children.

Six cases of the illness, also known as pertussis, have been confirmed in Smithers since the beginning of March.

Infants under one-year-old are the most vulnerable to the respiratory bacterial condition, which is highlight infectious and can be contracted by people of all ages.

According to Northern Health, whooping cough can be a serious disease for unimmunized infants and starts with symptoms similar to the common cold.

As the illness progresses the cough can become severe and may be accompanied by gasping, gagging, shortness of breath or vomiting.

There have been no reported deaths from whooping cough in northwest B.C. this year.

Northern Health statistics from 2012 show 64 per cent of two-year-olds were up to date on all of their immunizations, compared with 79 per cent in Hazelton and 75 per cent in Houston.

According to the same 2013 report, Smithers had the highest number of cases of vaccine-preventable diseases in northwest B.C. between 2002 and 2012.

A total 56 cases were reported in Smithers compared with 18 in Hazelton and 19 in Houston.

Northern Health northwest medical health officer Dr. Raina Fumerton encouraged residents to contact their local health providers to discuss vaccination to protect themselves from the illness.

“Northern Health is seeing an increase in pertussis cases, more commonly known as whooping cough, in the northwest part of B.C.,” said Fumerton.

“Public Health staff are working hard to isolate the cases of whooping cough.

“The best protection against whooping cough is immunization.

“This is not only a benefit for you, but also to help prevent spread to your loved ones who may be more vulnerable.”

 

Just Posted

Bachrach nominated by NDP for federal election

The Smithers mayor won on the first ballot with 446 of 797 votes

Giesbrecht found guilty of second-degree murder

Judge says murder is the only rational conclusion on the whole of the evidence

Woman struck by vehicle at Hwy 16 and Main

RCMP say they don’t yet have a status update on the individual’s condition

Fire ban back in effect for Northwest Fire Centre region

Starting May 24, both Category 2 and Category 3 prohibitions will be in place

Convicted animal abuser Catherine Adams to return to B.C. court in July

Catherine Adams is under a 20-year ban on owning animals, from a 2015 sentence in Smithers

Police say it’s “impressive” no arrests were made after Raptors celebrations

Toronto will play the Western Conference champion Golden State Warriors next

Social media giants in hot seat as politicians consider regulations in Ottawa

Committee members will also grill representatives from Facebook, Twitter

Wildfire crews watching for dangerous wind shift in High Level, Alta.

The Chuckegg Creek fire is raging out of control about three kilometres southwest of the town

UN urges Canada to take more vulnerable Mexican migrants from Central America

The request comes as the United States takes a harder line on its Mexican border

Mistrial declared in Jamie Bacon murder plot trial

Bacon was on trial for counselling to commit the murder of Person X

B.C. VIEWS: Money-laundering melodrama made for TV

Public inquiry staged to point fingers before 2021 election

Canadian homebuyers escaping high housing costs by moving to secondary cities

In British Columbia, exurbs have grown in the Hope Valley and Kamloops

Feds lay out proposed new rules for voice, video recorders in locomotives

Transport Canada wants to limit use of recorders to if a crew’s actions led to a crash

Most Read