Cases of whooping cough on rise in London area
London Community News
Cases of whooping cough are on the rise in the London area, the Middlesex-London Health Unit is reporting.
Last month, 14 cases of whooping cough, the common name for pertussis, were confirmed in the health unit’s coverage area and 57 per cent of those patients were not vaccinated against the bacterial disease.
The people who were confirmed to have whooping cough ranged in age from babies to adults under the age of 50.
A number of other North American health agencies have also noted increases in the number of whooping cough cases.
Pertussis usually begins with symptoms similar to the common cold which progress to coughing spells that can last for weeks to months and may cause vomiting.
The disease can be fatal for babies, who can develop complications such as pneumonia or seizures.
It is treated with antibiotics which may help improve symptoms if given early in the course of the illness and may also decrease the spread of the infection.
Health Canada recommends the free whooping cough immunization for adults, especially those around babies, and children and the health unit offers the vaccine at its immunization clinics in London and Strathroy.
The London clinic is located at 50 King St. and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. with extended hours on the first and third Wednesday of each month until 7 p.m.
The vaccine is also available from other local health care providers.