The outbreak of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, continues in our region. Alberta Health Services says the virus is quite serious, especially for younger people. Dr. Viven Suttorp, Medical Officer of Health for the South Zone says outbreaks typically happen every three to five years normally in communities where there are low immunization rates. Dr. Suttorp explains what some of the symptoms of whooping cough are.
“I think a challenge during this time of year, it’s also respiratory virus season. So there’s lots of viruses that lead to runny nose, cough, low grade fever. Whooping cough also has the same symptoms early on. What’s unique about whooping cough is after about a week or so of this general respiratory symptoms, there is an ongoing cough. And this cough can last for months and months, and it is called whooping cough. Typically in young children, they cough cough, and when they inhale after a big long episode of coughing, you can hear that whoop,” said Dr. Viven Suttorp, Medical Officer of Health, South Zone, Alberta Health Services.
Dr. Suttorp says the best preventable strategy is to get immunized against the respiratory virus.