Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut June 27, 2016 - 10:00 am

Health officials confirm case of whooping cough in Iqaluit

The best way to avoid the infection? Get vaccinated, says the GN

NUNATSIAQ NEWS
Whooping cough can be spread to anyone, but the most severe cases of the infection are seen in children under the age of one. (IMAGE COURTESY OF WEBMD)
Whooping cough can be spread to anyone, but the most severe cases of the infection are seen in children under the age of one. (IMAGE COURTESY OF WEBMD)

Nunavut health officials have confirmed the first case of whooping cough in Iqaluit, the territorial government said June 24.

The highly-contagious bacterial infection, also known as pertussis, is most likely linked to an outbreak in that began in Pond Inlet last month.

That’s where health officials were looking at as many as 18 suspected cases of the infection in May, although the number of confirmed cases was just five at the end of the month.

Whooping cough is, as its name suggests, marked by a cough, followed by a high-pitched inhalation. The infection is also typically accompanied by a fever, and sometimes vomiting after a coughing fit.

Health officials suggest that anyone showing those symptoms should visit their local health centre, especially children under the age of one, who are at risk of contracting the most severe cases of the infection.

The best way to prevent the spread of whooping cough is through vaccination, the GN’s health department said.

Nunavummiut households should also practice frequent handwashing and coughing into a tissue or shirt sleeve.

Cigarette smoke can also aggravate a cough or infection, the GN said, advising smokers to stay outdoors.

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