New Brunswick’s Department of Health has declared a whooping cough outbreak in the region of Fredericton.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, causes a severe cough that can last for months. For infants under the age of one, it can be deadly.
Dr. Na-Koshie Lamptey, regional medical officer of health, says the health department made the decision after 12 cases had been discovered since January, all of them in the Fredericton area.
Lamptey told a press conference on Wednesday that 10 of the patients are school-age children while two are adults.
Cases were confirmed in January, March and April.
The declaration of an outbreak in Fredericton comes only months after the province declared a whooping cough outbreak at Moncton High School. At least five cases of the highly contagious disease were diagnosed at the school.
In addition to routine childhood vaccines, which are received at 18 months old and again at two, four and six years old.
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An adolescent booster dose of the whooping cough vaccine is required in New Brunswick and provided through the province’s immunization clinics in Grade 7. An adult booster dose is also required.
Vaccination is free in New Brunswick, and Lamptey says that in some of these cases, children have missed their preschool booster, which they were supposed to receive at four years old. Some of the adults had also missed their adult booster shots.