With an increasing number of cases of whooping cough in the Victoria area schools, VIHA officials are urging parents to vaccinate their children.

Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

15 Greater Victoria schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September

A case of whooping cough has been detected at a Saanich school.

A notice was sent home to parents of Claremont secondary students and posted on the school website advising that children in the school may have come in contact with the pertussis germ, which is spread by coughing.

“Pertussis begins with mild cold-like symptoms and may progress to a severe cough with a whoop, which may be followed by vomiting,” according to the notice which advises parents to contact their family doctor if their child develops a persistent cough.

Island Health media relations officer Meribeth Burton said there have been two reported cases of pertussis in Greater Victoria schools so far in 2018 and 15 schools have been informed of a student with pertussis since September. There were 107 cases of pertussis reported on the South Island between January and November of last year. That’s up from the 79 cases in 2016 but well below the 213 cases in 2015.

“About 76 per cent of our local population is protected by vaccination, but we would like to see that number considerably higher. We’d also suggest that adults get a booster shot to ensure their protection,” said VIHA medical health officer Dr. Dee Hoyana in an earlier interview.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Pertussis can cause complications such as pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or even death. These complications happen most often in infants under one year of age. Each year in Canada, one to three deaths occur due to pertussis, mostly in babies less than three months of age who have not been immunized.

While the disease was thought of as a childhood disease prior to the development of a vaccine, it now primarily affects children too young to have had the full course of vaccinations or older adults whose immunity has faded and who have not received a booster shot in adulthood.

While deaths from pertussis are rare, they do occur, primarily in infants and older adults.

Worldwide, there are about 400,000 deaths annually and deaths have occurred in Canada.

Just Posted

Tent city campers prepare to leave Uplands Park

Vehicle access remains restricted at Cattle Point

A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

Since September 2017, Victoria’s homeless camp has set up in more than 20 locations

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Oak Bay police ‘patient’ but ready to make arrests if campers don’t leave

Vehicle access restricted to waterfront segment of Uplands Park

Four-sailing wait at BC Ferries Swartz Bay terminal

Full vessels create long waits on Friday afternoon

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for Oct. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you support amalgamation for communities in the Capital Region?

Residents in Victoria and Saanich will be voting on Oct. 20 on… Continue reading

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Ocean ‘blob’ returns to B.C.’s North Coast

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

Most Read