A Victoria mother who says her baby is in the hospital with whooping cough has written an emotional Facebook post pleading with other parents to vaccinate their children.
Annie Mae Braiden wrote that her 10-week-old daughter Isabelle has been on a ventilator at Victoria General Hospital for more than three weeks after contracting the contagious disease, also known as pertussis.
“What you do with your kids is your choice but do not tell me that not vaccinating your kids isn’t hurting anyone but your own kids,” she wrote. “Isabelle is proof that it harms the other little babes who aren’t old enough to get their vaccines yet.”
The post had been shared more than 24,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon.
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READ MORE: Anti-vax mother warns others of daughter’s whooping cough ‘nightmare’
The anti-vaccination movement has been blamed for an upswing in some preventable illnesses once largely considered eradicated.
In November 2015, Canada saw an outbreak of whooping cough cases, with at least 44 cases in Manitoba alone. Officials urged parents to make sure both their children’s vaccinations, along with their own, are up to date.
There are between 1,000 and 3,000 cases of whooping cough in Canada every year, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada. It is a highly-contagious respiratory tract infection. Without treatment it can last for weeks or months and can cause brain damage or even death.
– With files from Tania Kohut