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Whooping cough outbreak spreads to Cape Dorset

A whooping cough outbreak in Nunavut has spread to another Baffin Island community, with one confirmed and two probable cases now in Cape Dorset.

1 confirmed, 2 probable cases of whooping cough in 4th Baffin community

The Health Department says the best way to protect yourself from whooping cough is to ensure everyone in your household is vaccinated. (Tony Talbot/AP)

A whooping cough outbreak in Nunavut has spread to another Baffin Island community, with one confirmed and two probable cases now in Cape Dorset.

Last week, the Department of Health and Social Services said 71 people in the territory have come down with whooping cough, also known as pertussis. At the time, Nunavut's chief medical officer also said the outbreak is slowing in the territory

Cases have also been confirmed in Hall Beach, Pond Inlet and Iqaluit. 

Whooping cough is a contagious infection of the throat and lungs. A tell-tale sign of the disease is a cough followed by an unusual sound that sounds like "whoop" and vomiting or not breathing after coughing.

The Department of Heath says the best way to protect yourself from whooping cough is to ensure everyone in your household is vaccinated. Vaccination is especially important for children under the age of two and pregnant women in their last trimester.

Precautions include:

  • frequent handwashing
  • coughing into your sleeve or tissue
  • not sharing food, drinks, utensils or toothbrushes

The symptoms of whooping cough can be exacerbated by cigarette smoke.

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