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Cases of whooping cough on the rise in the Fraser Valley

Last Updated Sep 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm PST

MISSION (NEWS 1130) – The Fraser Valley is seeing an uptick in the number of whooping cough cases, especially in kids who have been vaccinated. Doctors and parents are being warned.

The illness, which can be fatal in young babies, is appearing in larger numbers. The cases are popping up in group settings like at daycares, in families and at schools.

Medical health officer Dr. Michelle Murti says they’re seeing more cases in vaccinated kids. The pertussis vaccine doesn’t last as long as other types. “Children who are more in the grade seven and eight range who haven’t yet come up to the grade nine booster who are starting to get pertussis activity in those age ranges because the effects of the vaccine are kind of waning. Their last booster was in the kindergarten age group and they haven’t yet come up to the grade nine booster.”

She adds that symptoms in this group tend to be milder so some of the more characteristic symptoms might not be there.

She says they’ve been reaching out to doctors. “We provided at least two reminders to physicians in the community within Fraser Health over the past couple months when we’ve been seeing this increased activity to let them know that yes, we have been seeing increased activity, what that looks like, reminding them about this milder presentation, especially for immunized children, what the appropriate testing is, what the appropriate treatment is as well as the contact follow up.”

As usual, Fraser Health asks parents to protect their kids and others by having children immunized.