Pregnant women in N.W.T. advised to get whooping cough shots
Pertussis outbreak began in Yellowknife last year
N.W.T.'s public health officer is advising all women who are 26 weeks or more pregnant to get vaccinated for whooping cough, due to an ongoing outbreak in the territory.
There were 21 confirmed cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in N.W.T. in 2015. They were in the Tlicho region, Hay River, Yellowknife and the Beaufort Delta. In a news release, the office of the chief public health officer says the majority of these cases were linked to travel outside the N.W.T.
There has been one confirmed case so far in 2016.
For the duration of the outbreak, N.W.T.'s public health officer is advising all pregnant women 26 weeks or greater to get vaccinated, regardless of their current immunization status, due to the potential for serious complications for infants under one year who get whooping cough.
The infection is transmitted though sneezing and coughing. Symptoms include a persistent cough, fever, runny nose and sneezing. The illness can be serious for babies under one year and people with weakened immune systems.
Confirmed cases are treated with antibiotics for the infected individuals and household contacts.
The release says an outbreak was declared in the Yellowknife region in November, and reinstated in January for all of the Northwest Territories.