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AHS warns of whooping cough

October 9, 2019

Alberta Health Services says in the last week there have been 11 confirmed cases of whooping cough in Lethbridge, the County of Lethbridge, and Raymond.

With seasons changing, illnesses tend to spread through schools and workplaces. But, how do you know if it’s whooping cough, versus all of the other respiratory viruses?

"Kids get these big coughing spells—these big attacks. We call it paroxysmal phase, where people cough and cough and at the end of the cough there may be an inspiratory 'whoop' in children. Some really little kids may also throw up because they're just coughing so hard," says AHS South zone lead, Dr. Vivien Suttorp

Out of all of the outbreaks the South Health zone, in at least 80 per cent of those cases, the individuals were not immunized. AHS also recommends staying home, and limiting contact with others.  

"The less spread we have, the less of the bacteria we have in our overall community. Therefore, the more we all as citizens of Southern Alberta protect those very vulnerable young young infants and newborns.

There have been 38 confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in the AHS South Zone so far this year. The highest recorded cases for the south zone was 475 in 2017.