Pertussis outbreak in the Acadian Peninsula Region

Vitalité Health Network, Friday, June 28, 2024 – An outbreak of whooping cough (Pertussis) has been declared on the Acadian Peninsula.

Over the past two weeks, 11 cases have been confirmed in the region. However, given the highly contagious nature of this disease, it is important for the populations in neighbouring regions to remain vigilant to prevent any further transmission.

Whooping cough begins with cold-like symptoms, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and mild cough, and worsens over a period of several weeks to include serious coughing spells that often end with a “whoop” or high-pitched sound when catching their breath. Whooping cough is easily transmitted from person to person, mainly through droplets from the nose, mouth and throat of an infected person.

Children under one year of age are at higher risk of developing severe forms of the disease, said Dr. Rita Gad, medical officer of health for the north region.

“Whooping cough is a highly contagious vaccine-preventable disease that can occur at any age,” said Gad. “It is very serious in babies and young children, especially for those who are too young to receive the vaccine. The best way to protect individuals against whooping cough infection and transmitting to others is to ensure you are up to date with your vaccines. ”

If you have excessive or persistent coughing:

  • Wear a mask to protect your loved ones;
  • Contact 811 or e-visits, or contact your family doctor or nurse practitioner for evaluation and treatment.

Individuals who are not adequately vaccinated can get the pertussis vaccine for free by making an appointment with their doctor or nurse practitioner or at the nearest Public Health office.

Vaccinating pregnant women is very effective in preventing pertussis and its complications in babies.

Public Health urges pregnant women to get vaccinated between the 26th and 32nd weeks of pregnancy (the vaccine can be given until the end of pregnancy if it has not been administered before 33 weeks of gestation).

Parents of young children are also encouraged to follow the New Brunswick Routine Immunization Schedule.

Go to the Department of Health website for more information on pertussis.