A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Mount Douglas secondary school as of March 7. (Google Maps)

Whooping cough confirmed at Vancouver Island high school

Pertussis can be nagging and uncomfortable for teens, serious or even fatal for infants

Island Health confirmed at least one student at a Vancouver Island high school has been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis).

The health agency and school sent a letter to students and parents at Mount Douglas secondary in Saanich on Thursday with hopes to stem further outbreak of the airborne bacteria.

“Individuals who have attended the school may have been in contact with the bacteria, which are spread by coughing,” said the letter.

Whooping cough for teens is a nagging, uncomfortable illness though it is a much greater health concern for infants as it can be fatal for those under one year of age. Therefore, Island Health is asking the community to be careful in tracking who has been exposed to any confirm cases.

READ MORE: Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

“Infants are very vulnerable, and about one infant out of every 170 who gets pertussis will die from it,” said Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton.

Pregnant mothers in their third trimester can also be at risk as they may expose their newborn infant after birth.

Island Health reported that Vancouver Island had 213 confirmed cases of whooping cough in 2017 and 373 confirmed cases in 2016, the latter being the highest number of cases reported on Vancouver Island in recent years.

The cough begins with cold-like symptoms that may progress to a severe cough with a distinctive ‘whooping’ sound, which may be followed by gagging or vomiting.

Symptoms can last for several weeks.

If someone is diagnosed with pertussis, antibiotic treatment will be needed. After five days of treatment, the individual will no longer be considered infectious and can return to school or work.

A vaccine for pertussis is among the immunization protocol for B.C. children, usually given during the first year of life, then again around 18 months and again upon entering Kindergarten.

There is one additional booster shot when children are in Grade 9.

Anyone who develops the symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider to test for pertussis bacteria.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Stone re-joins Campbell River Storm as head coach/GM

Spent half of last season with the BCHL Surrey Eagles

Campbell River city council won’t support cannabis license, citing First Nation opposition and ‘at-risk youth’ nearby

The third application to come before council is the first to be denied city support

Former Campbell Riverite reaches Everest summit

Clayton Matthews’ team got to the top of the world earlier this week

Campbell River RCMP arrest violent offender

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Rescuers finally persuade Eiffel Tower climber to come down

The official said the man was ‘under control and out of danger’ on Monday night

LETTER: Fletcher ‘blurs reality’ on B.C. union public construction

Bridge, highway projects awarded to companies, not unions

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

Judge: Mississippi 6-week abortion ban ‘smacks of defiance’

The new law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected

Oil companies, 24-cent gap between B.C., Alberta to be focus of gas price probe

Premier John Horgan called the spike in gas prices ‘alarming’

Motorcycle deaths spike 50% since 2017

Riders were most likely fatally crash on the weekends compared with the rest of the week

Mother of accused charged in death of Surrey teen girl found in torched SUV

Manjit Kaur Deo charged with ‘accessory after the fact’ in 2017 death of Surrey teen

Family of B.C. pilot killed in Honduras trying to ‘piece together’ tragedy

Patrick Forseth has a number of friends in the area and was loved by everyone

Most Read