On August 26, 2015, Alberta Health Services (AHS) declared a whooping cough (pertussis) outbreak in the AHS North Zone due to a sustained increase in the number of confirmed cases.
AHS is encouraging all North Zone residents to be immunized against pertussis. Immunization is available by appointment at public health and community health centres across the zone.
AHS is urging immunization for the following high-risk North Zone residents:
- Infants and preschool-aged children who are not up-to-date on immunizations.
- Caregivers and close contacts of infants, such as parents, grandparents, nannies and child care staff (e.g. daycare centres and family day homes).
- Health care workers.
- Women who are at least, or greater than, 26 weeks pregnant. (Immunizing women at or after 26 weeks of pregnancy is safe and increases protection for newborn infants by minimizing risk of infection in those around them and giving them antibodies transferred during pregnancy).
Anyone who suspects they, or a family member, may be sick with pertussis should stay at home and call a family physician or Health Link (at 811) before seeking medical care. When prescribed treatment, cases should stay home from work, school or child care until five days of antibiotics have been completed.
Read the full AHS advisory at http://www.albertahealthservices.ca/11711.asp.
Click here to read the AHS Notice to Parents.