Media Release - For Immediate Release
Whooping Cough Alert
St. Thomas, Ontario, October 27, 2017
Elgin St. Thomas Public Health has noted a rise in the number of pertussis (whooping cough) cases over the past week. The Health Unit would like you to make sure you are up-to-date with all your shots (vaccines) and to speak with your doctor right away if you have an unexplained cough that has lasted a long time.
Facts about Whooping Cough?
Whooping cough can spread very easily from person-to-person through coughing and sneezing. The infection often starts with mild cold-like symptoms such as a runny nose. People can spread whooping cough from the time their cold symptoms start until 3 weeks after they begin coughing. The cough may end with vomiting and/or a “whooping” sound. In many people, the symptoms get worse and last for weeks and even months.
Whooping cough is very serious for babies and pregnant women in their last 3 months of pregnancy. Babies can become very sick and end up in the hospital because they are not strong enough to fight the infection. It can also be hard to tell if babies have whooping cough because they do not show the usual signs of the infection.
Prevent the Spread of Whooping Cough in Our Community
- See your doctor if you have a cough that lasts more than 2 weeks or if you’ve spent time with a person who has whooping cough.
- If you have whooping cough, stay home from work or school until you have finished five days of medicine (antibiotic treatment) or for 21 days after the cough started.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes
- Clean your hands often.
- Make sure you and your children have all their shots (vaccines); Whooping cough vaccines work, but they are not perfect. They usually offer good levels of protection within the first two years after getting the vaccine, but then the protection falls over time. You can get the shot at your doctor’s office or at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health free of charge: visit www.elginhealth.on.ca/booking or call 519-631-9900.
To find out more about whooping cough, please contact your doctor or Dr. Joyce Lock at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health at 519-631-9900 ext. 1308.