A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Mount Douglas secondary school as of March 7. (Google Maps)

Whooping cough confirmed at Saanich high school

Nagging cough can be fatal for infants

Island Health confirmed at least one student at Mount Douglas secondary has been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis).

The health agency and school sent a letter to students and parents on Thursday with hopes to stem further outbreak of the airborne bacteria.

READ MORE: No confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island despite mainland outbreak

“Individuals who have attended the school may have been in contact with the bacteria, which are spread by coughing,” said the letter.

Whooping cough for teens is a nagging, uncomfortable illness though it is a much greater health concern for infants as it can be fatal for those under one year of age. Therefore, Island Health is asking the community to be careful in tracking who has been exposed to any confirm cases.

READ MORE: Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

“Infants are very vulnerable, and about one infant out of every 170 who gets pertussis will die from it,” said Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton.

Pregnant mothers in their third trimester can also be at risk as they may expose their newborn infant after birth.

Island Health reported that Vancouver Island had 213 confirmed cases of whooping cough in 2017 and 373 confirmed cases in 2016, the latter being the highest number of cases reported on Vancouver Island in recent years.

The cough begins with cold-like symptoms that may progress to a severe cough with a distinctive ‘whooping’ sound, which may be followed by gagging or vomiting.

Symptoms can last for several weeks.

If someone is diagnosed with pertussis, antibiotic treatment will be needed. After five days of treatment, the individual will no longer be considered infectious and can return to school or work.

A vaccine for pertussis is among the immunization protocol for B.C. children, usually given during the first year of life, then again around 18 months and again upon entering Kindergarten.

There is one additional booster shot when children are in Grade 9.

Anyone who develops the symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider to test for pertussis bacteria.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sooke school superintendent says student safety a paramount concern

“We always want to make sure our students and staff feel safe,”… Continue reading

Roll of EI recipients in Greater Victoria stagnates

Statistics Canada says 2,140 people received EI benefits in December 2019, just as in November

UPDATED: Indigenous youth occupy B.C. Legislature steps amidst court injunction

Police negotiating with people gathered in support of some of the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

Saanich councillor asks District to stand in solidarity with Wet’suwet’en

Coun. Nathalie Chambers duplicates ‘tried and true motion’ passed by Victoria in January

‘Not the monster everyone thinks’: Sister of human-trafficking suspect speaks out

Trish Kelly’s brother was one of four Vancouver Island residents arrested last month in Saskatchewan

VIDEO: B.C.’s seventh coronavirus patient at home in Fraser Health region

Canada in ‘containment’ as COVID-19 spreads in other countries

B.C. takes over another Retirement Concepts senior care home

Summerland facility latest to have administrator appointed

RCMP pull office from Wet’suwet’en territory, but hereditary chiefs still want patrols to end

Chief says temporary closure of field office not enough as Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute drags on

Prescription opioids getting B.C. addicts off ‘poisoned’ street drugs

Minister Judy Darcy says Abbotsford pilot project working

Teck CEO says Frontier withdrawal a result of tensions over climate, reconciliation

Don Lindsay speaks at mining conference, a day after announcing suspension of oilsands project

Okanagan man swims across Columbia River to evade Trail police

RCMP Cpl. Devon Reid says the incident began the evening of Thursday, Feb. 20

‘Hilariously bad’: RCMP looking for couple with forged, paper Alberta licence plate

Mounties said the car crashed when it lost a wheel but the duo ran away as police arrived

Most Read