The Prince Albert Parkland Health Region, Health Canada, and surrounding First Nation communities are coordinating a response to a Pertussis (commonly known as Whooping Cough) outbreak focused in the northwest portion of the Prince Albert Parkland Health Region.
“Our immediate focus is to bring children and adults up-to-date with the pertussis vaccine,” said Dr. Khami Chokani, Medical Health Officer, Prince Albert Parkland Health Region. “It is also important for parents and other caregivers to check their immunization status. In order to help contain the illness, it is important for everyone who can to be immunized.”
“Health Canada is working with First Nations communities to promote the voluntary childhood vaccination program which ensures that children are up to date with their routine vaccinations,” said Dr. Ibrahim Khan, Regional Medical Health Officer for Health Canada in Saskatchewan. “Health Canada is working with and supporting the efforts of affected First Nation communities in providing enhanced immunization services for prenatal women in their third trimester.”
Additional measures will be taken, if necessary, as the organizations continue to assess the needs of the affected communities.
Dr. Chokani noted that if individuals, including parents/caregivers, are unsure about whether or not they or their children are up to date with immunizations they should contact their local public health office.
Pertussis, whooping cough, is a serious and highly contagious infection of the lungs and throat caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria. Young children who have not been immunized get sicker than older children and adults. People can get pertussis at any age. People can get pertussis many times during their life, as they do not develop permanent immunity. The disease may occur in those who have been vaccinated but symptoms are typically milder, but they are still able to spread the illness.
More information about pertussis can be found at Government of Saskatchewan - Ministry of Health
For more information or to arrange interviews contact:
Kathy Holmgren, Prince Albert Parkland Health Region
Media Relations, Health Canada