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HomeHealth and LifestyleHealth Unit Warns Of Increase In Cases of Whooping Cough In Local...

Health Unit Warns Of Increase In Cases of Whooping Cough In Local School Community

KAWARTHA LAKES-The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) has been notified of increased pertussis (whooping cough) activity within the school community.

The Health Unit says it cannot provide the number of cases to “protect health information” but told Kawartha 411 News it has seen pertussis activity in Kawartha Lakes and Northumberland since April.

Officials say parents and caregivers should be vigilant, as it is possible that children may have been exposed to this highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection.

Symptoms and Risks:

Pertussis initially presents with symptoms similar to a common cold, such as a runny nose and mild fever. Within a few days, severe coughing begins, often accompanied by a distinctive “whoop” sound before the next breath. The health unit says the coughing can be intense, sometimes leading to vomiting or difficulty breathing. These severe symptoms typically last for 2 to 3 weeks but can persist for up to 1 to 2 months.

High-Risk Groups:

Infants under the age of 1 and pregnant individuals in their third trimester are at the greatest risk for severe illness. If exposed or symptomatic, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately for further assessment.

Preventative Measures:

Immunization remains the most effective defense against pertussis. The HKPR District Health Unit urges parents to ensure their children’s vaccinations are up to date. Adults should also review their immunization status, as booster doses may be necessary. Those without a healthcare provider should contact the Health Unit for assistance.

Action Steps for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Monitor your child for symptoms of pertussis. If symptoms appear, seek medical attention promptly and bring this notification with you.
  • Ensure your family’s immunizations are current by contacting your healthcare provider or the Health Unit.
  • Review and update your own immunization records to determine if a booster is needed.

For additional questions or concerns regarding pertussis, please reach out to your healthcare provider or the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1507.

 

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