Whooping cough outbreak at Calgary’s Waldorf School

AHS declared an outbreak of whooping cough at a SW Calgary school on May 3, 2016. Erika Tucker / Global News

CALGARY – Alberta Health Services declared an outbreak of whooping cough (pertussis) at a private school in Calgary’s southwest Tuesday.

AHS said it will be offering additional immunization to students and staff at Waldorf School to reduce the risk of the illness spreading any further.

“Though these particular school cases are not considered a risk to the general public at this time, this outbreak does serve as a reminder of the importance of immunization, particularly to protect children and other at-risk individuals,” AHS said in a statement.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing fits that can last for weeks; it can also lead to pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage or even death.

There have been 19 cases of pertussis in the Calgary Zone this year, eight of which are linked to the Waldorf School outbreak. Last year, 59 cases of pertussis were confirmed in the Calgary Zone, and 33 cases were confirmed here in 2014.

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Click here for more information on whooping cough from AHS.

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