Whooping cough outbreak in Hope, BC

Twenty new cases of pertussis have been reported in the Hope area since August. While previous outbreaks have been due to children going unvaccinated, in this case, it seems the outbreak is resultant of people not getting their boosters.

The health authority is asking healthcare professionals and members of the public in the Hope area to be alert for the signs and symptoms of Pertussis, or whooping cough.

“It has been many years since British Columbia has had an outbreak of Pertussis so there is very little natural immunity,” said Dr. Paul Van Buynder, the Fraser Health Authority’s chief medical health officer, in the statement.

Buynder is advising residents to ensure all the vaccines of all family members are up to date.

“The best protection against Pertussis is to get vaccinated. Pertussis in very young children can lead to hospitalization and even death,” he said.

“The vaccine that most people get when they are infants only offers protection for four to 10 years, so there are many people without adequate coverage.”

My own pertussis vaccination status is well out of date. I need to remedy that.