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Whooping cough vaccine clinics coming to Clyde River, Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung

Nunavut's Department of Health is increasing its efforts to combat whooping cough in the Qikiqtaaluk region, with vaccine clinics in Clyde River, Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung this week.

At least 70 probable or confirmed cases in Pond Inlet, Hall Beach and Iqaluit

Kim Barker, Nunavut's chief medical officer of health, says all pregnant women after 27 weeks of pregnancy should get immunized for whooping cough to protect the baby. (Sima Sahar Zerehi/CBC)

Nunavut's Department of Health is increasing its efforts to combat whooping cough in the Qikiqtaaluk region, with vaccine clinics in Clyde River, Pond Inlet and Pangnirtung this week.

The whooping cough outbreak has spread quickly across the territory this summer.

As of Aug. 3 there were 70 probable or confirmed cases of whooping cough in the communities of Pond Inlet, Hall Beach and Iqaluit.

The clinics, held in partnership with Health Canada, are being mounted to immunize as many people as possible, particularly young children, says a spokesperson from the department.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease, preventable through immunization and treatable with antibiotics.

Symptoms include a cough followed by an unusual "whoop" sound or a funny-sounding cough and vomiting after coughing or not breathing after coughing.

Vaccination is particularly important for children under the age of two and pregnant women in their last trimester.

People planning to travel outside their community in Nunavut are also encouraged to get vaccinated.

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