EDMONTON — Two whooping cough outbreaks, which were previously declared in parts of central and northern Alberta, are officially over.
An outbreak of pertussis disease, or whopping cough, was declared in August 2015 in the North Zone. Another outbreak of the disease was declared in the Central Zone in December 2014.
Alberta Health Services said the activity of the disease in the two zones no longer exceeds baseline levels. AHS will continue to monitor the situation through all areas of the province.
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The bacterial infection causes severe coughing that lasts for months. It can also lead to pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and even death. Infants six months of age and younger are at greatest risk for these serious complications, according to AHS.
Infants under three months are at the highest risk of whooping cough-related hospitalization and death.
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AHS urges parents to get their children vaccinated against the disease. Pertussis immunization is free in Alberta. A series of doses is recommended by AHS starting at two months of age; again at four, six and 18 months; at four to six years; and again in Grade 9.
Albertans who are uncertain about their immunization history can call Health Link at 811.
For more information about whooping cough, visit Alberta Health Services’ website.