Whooping cough alert in Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley

A whooping cough alert in the eastern Fraser Valley has been issued by the Fraser Health Authority.

A whooping cough alert in the eastern Fraser Valley has been issued by the Fraser Health Authority.

Since August, there have been more than 80 cases of whooping cough (also called pertussis) reported in the Hope region, health officials said, and recently cases have been seen in the Agassiz-Harrison area as well.

A vaccination clinic will start in Chilliwack on Jan. 23, and clinics that have already started in Hope will be expanded to Agassiz on Jan. 19 and to Harrison Hot Springs.

“The best protection against pertussis is to get vaccinated,” Dr. Paul Van Buynder, Fraser Health’s medical health officer, said in a news release.

“Pertussis in very young children can lead to hospitalization and even death,” he said.

Parents are urged to make sure their children are fully immunized, and to get free booster shots for adults in regular contact with children.

“The vaccine that people get as children only offers protection for 4-10 years, so there are many people without adequate coverage,” health officials said.

Adults who have not had a booster shot in the last five years are asked to call their local health unit, or their doctor to get the free vaccine.

The phone number of the Chilliwack health unit is 604-702-4900.

The Agassiz health unit number is 604-793-7160.

The Hope health unit number is 604-860-7630.

Whooping cough is a very contagious disease that spreads easily through the air. Symptoms are similar to those of a cold – sneezing, runny nose, low fever, mild cough – but over the next week or two the coughing gets worse, leading to longer spells that often end with a whoop or crowing sound when the infected person breathes in.

“The coughing may be so bad that it makes a person gag or throw up,” health officials said. “Sometimes a thick, clear mucous is spit out. This cough can last up to a month or two, and happens more at night.”

If your child develops symptoms, call your doctor right away. Your child may be examined in an isolation room so others are not exposed. Bring immunization records with you.

A pertussis vaccine is usually given to children at age two months, along with vaccines for diptheria and tetanus in a single shot. A booster shot is recommended for teens and people older than 10 years. Any adult or health care professional in contact with a baby aged less than one year, and whose last pertussis vaccination was five or more years ago, is eligible for a free booster shot.

For more information about pertussis call HealthLink BC at 811 or go online to www.healthlinkbc.ca and follow the Health Topics link.

Just Posted

Snow prayers answered as Manning Park ski hill opens Friday

Ski hill will be open seven days a week starting Dec. 14, and cross-country trails as well

Fleeing driver picks fight with Chilliwack police dog, loses

Good dog ‘Griff’ also locates large quantity of what police believe to be crystal meth in Abbotsford

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

Hope rescue crew remove man pinned in semi-truck on Highway 3

Tuesday night rescue was swift, with the man removed safely from the truck within an hour and a half

DFO confirms that investigation of fish habitat destruction in the Fraser River is underway

Conservation and Protection reps ordered Herrling and Carey Island owners to take corrective action

Fashion Fridays: How to change your beauty routine

Kim XO, lets you in on her style secrets each Fashion Friday on the Black Press Media Network

Vancouver police make arrest in hit and run that killed skateboarder

Charges stem from a two-year investigation into the April 17 death of 30-year-old Ryan Barron

5 to start your day

Powerful winds anticipated in Lower Mainland, Chilliwack company facing charges in chicken abuse case and more

Increase in downed power lines in B.C., how to stay safe

BC Hydro study finds a third of British Columbians may be putting themselves at risk

Woman dies after being struck by bus in Burnaby

RCMP officers from the traffic and collision teams are investigating

Judge sets bail at $2.5 million in 1987 slaying of B.C. couple

William Talbott II, 55, is charged with two counts of aggravated first-degree murder

EU leaders vow to press on with ‘no-deal’ Brexit plans

European Union leaders have offered Theresa May sympathy but no promises, as the British prime minister seeks a lifeline.

Powerful winds set to hit Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island

The agency says winds in coastal areas will strengthen up to 70 kilometres an hour before the front moves inland and gusts reach 90 kilometres an hour.

Mandatory victim surcharge cruel and unusual punishment, top court rules

Stephen Harper’s Conservative government made the charges mandatory in 2013.

Most Read