Officials with the Hastings and Prince Edward Health Unit (HPEPH) report 9 cases of pertussis have been identified in the Bancroft area, and cases of pertussis have been confirmed at North Hastings High School (NHHS).

Ontario map/public domain wikimedia commons
Ontario map/public domain wikimedia commons

This has prompted immunization clinics with the next one at Bancroft Public Health office, 1 Manor Lane on May 25 from 10am-6pm.

All members of the community who are not vaccinated are encouraged to take advantage of the above-mentioned clinics and help reduce the spread of pertussis. Regular immunization also continues to be available throughout the HPEPH catchment area as identified in the table below. No appointment or  payment is required for these clinics.

While anyone can get pertussis, it is most dangerous for children under one year of age. Adults and older  children that are around infants and young children should be vaccinated. Children who have not received immunization against pertussis, or whose immunization is incomplete, are at increased risk of developing the disease. For more information, please speak to your health care provider or call HPEPH.

Pertussis typically begins with a runny nose and cough. The cough may become more frequent and severe after the first 1-2 weeks. The cough may end in gagging, vomiting, or trouble breathing. Sometimes, after a coughing attack, a child may give a loud “whoop” when breathing in, which is why the infection has been called “whooping cough”. Pertussis is spread easily through droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing by an infected person. Pertussis is most contagious during the first two weeks after coughing starts.