The director of public health of the Northwest Territories has declared an outbreak of pertussis in Yellowknife and in the communities of Tlicho.
There are 20 cases confirmed by pertussis laboratory in those regions as of Wednesday, according to a press release sent on Wednesday afternoon.
Pertussis, also called pertussis, is a contagious infection in the lungs caused by bacteria in the mouth, nose and throat, according to the public health notice. According to the statement, it is more dangerous for babies and children under one year.
Last month, the Health Department announced eight confirmed cases of whooping cough in the Tlicho region. Those cases were “isolated and treated,” the department said at the time.
Symptoms to consider include:
- cough that lasts more than a week
- cough followed by an unusual sound that sounds like “whoop”
- difficulty breathing
- vomiting after coughing
- cough that gets worse at night
- high fever (39 C and higher) that lasts more than three days
Whooping cough can be prevented with a vaccine, according to the department. Residents can get the free vaccine from their health care provider.
The pertussis vaccine is safe and effective, says N.W.T. Health Department.
Immunity may disappear over time, so booster shots are offered every 10 years. Pregnant women should receive a vaccine between 27 and 28 weeks of pregnancy, regardless of when they received the last booster dose, the warning says.
The Health Department said people who suspect they have whooping cough should notify their health care provider and stay home.
In 2015, there were 21 confirmed cases of pertussis in the Northwest Territories: even in the region of Tlicho, Hay River, Yellowknife and the Beaufort Delta region. At that time, the office of the director of public health said that most of those cases were related to trips outside the N.W.T.