A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Mount Douglas secondary school as of March 7. (Google Maps)

Whooping cough confirmed at Saanich high school

Nagging cough can be fatal for infants

Island Health confirmed at least one student at Mount Douglas secondary has been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis).

The health agency and school sent a letter to students and parents on Thursday with hopes to stem further outbreak of the airborne bacteria.

READ MORE: No confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island despite mainland outbreak

“Individuals who have attended the school may have been in contact with the bacteria, which are spread by coughing,” said the letter.

Whooping cough for teens is a nagging, uncomfortable illness though it is a much greater health concern for infants as it can be fatal for those under one year of age. Therefore, Island Health is asking the community to be careful in tracking who has been exposed to any confirm cases.

READ MORE: Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

“Infants are very vulnerable, and about one infant out of every 170 who gets pertussis will die from it,” said Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton.

Pregnant mothers in their third trimester can also be at risk as they may expose their newborn infant after birth.

Island Health reported that Vancouver Island had 213 confirmed cases of whooping cough in 2017 and 373 confirmed cases in 2016, the latter being the highest number of cases reported on Vancouver Island in recent years.

The cough begins with cold-like symptoms that may progress to a severe cough with a distinctive ‘whooping’ sound, which may be followed by gagging or vomiting.

Symptoms can last for several weeks.

If someone is diagnosed with pertussis, antibiotic treatment will be needed. After five days of treatment, the individual will no longer be considered infectious and can return to school or work.

A vaccine for pertussis is among the immunization protocol for B.C. children, usually given during the first year of life, then again around 18 months and again upon entering Kindergarten.

There is one additional booster shot when children are in Grade 9.

Anyone who develops the symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider to test for pertussis bacteria.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

Rolling the dice on the patina of old copper

At the Galleries: Summer days continue

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read