Whooping cough outbreak has now spread throughout territory: Nunavut officials

Nunavut's whooping cough outbreak has now spread throughout the territory, according to a public health advisory issued today by the territory's Department of Health.

Pregnant women and their families urged to get vaccinated

Nunavut's whooping cough outbreak has now spread throughout the territory, according to a public health advisory issued today by the territory's Department of Health.

Earlier this month, cases were confirmed in Igloolik. Four other communities in the Baffin region — Cape Dorset, Hall Beach, Pond Inlet and Iqaluit — had previously reported confirmed cases.

The advisory says whooping cough is "a serious and active health concern."

Babies who get whooping cough can become very sick. Officials are urging pregnant women in their last trimester and their families to get vaccinated at their local health centre to protect babies from being infected.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is highly contagious. Symptoms include a cough followed by an unusual "whoop" sound or a funny-sounding cough, or vomiting or having difficulty breathing after coughing.

Parents of children with those symptoms, or any adults, should contact their community health centre.

Other tips to prevent the spread of the illness include frequent handwashing, coughing into your sleeve or a tissue and not sharing food, drinks, utensils or toothbrushes.

Officials say any cough can be made worse by cigarette smoke and advise against smoking indoors.