The NWT government urged people to get vaccinated against whooping cough after four Fort Simpson residents were diagnosed with the disease.
So far, one of those four has had their case confirmed by a laboratory. The territory referred to the cases as a “cluster” in a Monday advisory warning residents of the Dehcho community.
Whooping cough also called pertussis, is a contagious lung infection considered particularly dangerous to infants and young children.
“Residents can protect themselves and their loved ones from pertussis by getting vaccinated. The pertussis-containing vaccine is safe and effective, although immunity from the pertussis vaccine may fade over time,” the territory stated in its advisory.
The vaccine is free of charge and is ordinarily provided as a child, as an adolescent, and every 10 years to adults as a booster dose.
“If you think you may have been exposed to someone with pertussis or have a cough concerning for pertussis, you should call the health centre or your health care provider as soon as possible,” the territory stated.
Symptoms include mild fever, runny nose, red and watery eyes, sneezing and a mild cough. The cough worsens significantly around 10 days after the appearance of symptoms.
“The cough tends to be worse at night and may result in vomiting and difficulty breathing. Babies and small children may turn blue,” the NWT government’s advisory stated.
If you have whooping cough you must stay at home until a course of antibiotics has been completed.
If you are not sure whether you or your child are immunized, you can book an appointment with your health centre.