NWT says Dehcho whooping cough outbreak is over

A file photo of Fort Simpson's health centre
Fort Simpson's health centre. Sarah Pruys/Cabin Radio

An outbreak of whooping cough reported in the NWT’s Dehcho region earlier this year has now ended, the territorial government said on Monday.

In a news release, the territory said Chief Public Health Officer Dr Kami Kandola had declared the outbreak over as there had been no new cases since January 16.

“February 27th is identified as the end of the outbreak as two full incubation periods have occurred with no additional cases,” read an advisory from Dr Kandola’s office.

“Although the outbreak is over, residents should still protect themselves and their loved ones from pertussis by getting vaccinated,” that advisory continued.



“The pertussis-containing vaccine is safe and effective, although immunity from the pertussis vaccine may fade over time. An adolescent booster dose is offered in Grade 7 and every 10 years as an adult.”

The vaccine is free of charge and part of the NWT’s routine immunization schedule.

Whooping cough, also called pertussis, can be particularly dangerous to infants and young children.

Mild symptoms – like a mild fever and cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes – typically begin around a week after exposure. Ten days after symptoms start, the cough worsens and leads to “severe, repeated and forceful coughing spells that end with a whooping sound before the next breath,” said the territory in a previous advisory.

The Dehcho outbreak was declared on January 13 after seven cases of the infection were confirmed in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson.