Friday, June 01, 2012
Huron County Health Unit
Whooping Cough Spreading in Huron: Health Unit
The Huron County Health Unit is concerned about the number of confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, in Huron County so far this year. There have been 10 people with the highly infectious disease. There were no cases of confirmed pertussis for the same period last year.
The cases are spread around the county and in people of all ages. Most of the people affected had not been immunized.
“Pertussis is most serious for young children, especially those under one year of age. For infants and young ones, pertussis can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and occasionally death,” says Public Health Nurse Shirley Chalmers.
The concern has prompted the health unit to offer free immunization clinics in June. Chalmers says they are particularly encouraging adults who have contact with children to get the booster shot.
Pertussis is spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. It can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s saliva or mucous, such as by kissing or sharing drinking cups.
Most cases begin with symptoms similar to a cold. These can include: a runny nose, congestion, mild cough, sneezing or a fever. The cough will become worse after about a week and can last for weeks after that. During a coughing spell you may hear a “whooping” sound, especially in younger children. Older children and adults may have coughing spells that lead to vomiting.
The Huron County Health Unit is encouraging parents, grandparents, child care providers, anyone with children in their life to get the free pertussis booster.
The clinics will be every Tuesday afternoon for the month of June at the health unit in Clinton. One clinic will be held in Wingham. Call to make an appointment at 1-877-837-6143.
You can also get the vaccination at your health care provider’s office.
1-519-482-3416 ext 2289 or 1-877-837-6143