Nunavut's 2nd recent whooping cough outbreak is declared over

Nunavut's Department of Health has declared the second whooping cough outbreak since May of last year over.

Cases were confirmed in Arviat in September and Rankin Inlet in October

Cases of whooping cough were confirmed in Arviat in September and in Rankin Inlet in October. The Nunavut health department says that outbreak is over. An earlier outbreak that spread to 11 different communities in the Qikqtaaluk and Kivalliq regions was declared over in April. (CBC)

Nunavut's second whooping cough outbreak since May, 2016 is over, according to the territory's health department.

There were confirmed cases in Arviat in September and in Rankin Inlet in October.

The first outbreak was declared over in April this year, after it started in May, 2016, in Pond Inlet and spread to 11 different communities in the Qikqtaaluk and Kivalliq regions. With 154 confirmed cases, it was deemed the largest whooping cough outbreak on record in Nunavut.

At the time, Dr. Maureen Mayhew, Nunavut's acting chief medical officer, said the number of cases was above average in these communities for this time of year.

Known officially as pertussis, whooping cough is a contagious disease of the throat and lungs that spreads from person to person. It can be very serious or fatal.

Anyone can get whooping cough, but the most severe cases are in children under the age of one, according to the Nunavut Health Department.

Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing;
  • vomiting after coughing;
  • cough followed by an unusual "whoop" sound;
  • coughing that is worse at night;
  • a high fever that lasts more than three days.

Whooping cough is preventable by getting vaccinated.

The government is urging Nunavummiut to check if their immunization records are up to date. Vaccinations are free at local health centres.