Whooping cough confirmed in Sanikiluaq

The Nunavut Department of Health has identified whooping cough in Sanikiluaq and is asking parents to take precautions to protect the very young.

The Nunavut Department of Health has identified whooping cough in Sanikiluaq, asks parents to take precautions

A map showing the location of the Nunavut hamlet of Sanikiluaq, on the Belcher Islands in Hudson Bay. Whooping cough has been confirmed in the community and residents are asked to take precautions. (Google)

Whooping cough (pertussis) has been identified in Sanikiluaq, according to a government of Nunavut news release Thursday.

The Nunavut Health Department is not describing it as an outbreak, but asks parents to take precautions with the very young.

"Anyone can get whooping cough, but the most severe cases are in children under the age of one," the press release states.

Whooping cough is an infection of the throat and lungs and can be spread from person to person. The government asks anyone with mild symptoms, or with a child exhibiting symptoms, to stay home and away from others until the symptoms are gone.

Anyone with the following symptoms should contact the health centre:

  • A cough that lasts longer than a week.
  • A cough followed by an unusual sound that sounds like "whoop."
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Vomiting after coughing.
  • Coughing that is worse at night.
  • A high fever (39 C and above) that lasts more than three days.

The whooping cough can be vaccinated against, but people should make sure their vaccines are up to date.

Besides getting vaccinated, precautions against the spread of whooping cough include:

  • Frequent handwashing.
  • Coughing into your sleeve or a tissue.
  • Not sharing food, drinks, utensils or toothbrushes.