Island’s top doc: prepare for whooping cough

While there are no confirmed cases of whooping cough locally,

While there are no confirmed cases of whooping cough locally, it’s not a bad idea to take precautions, said the medical health officer for the North Island.

“At this point in time we don’t have any identified cases,” said Dr. Paul Hasselback, who acknowledged a person infected with whooping cough was in the area.

“We did have someone visiting your area who, at the time they were visiting, did have pertussis,” he said.

The infected person was at a Naming and Coming of Age Feast at the Big House March 2, where a large number of people had gathered.

But as far as anyone can tell, the pertussis was not passed on, but the fact someone who had it was here is cause for concern.

“We’re very rigorous about trying to identify households where someone who was even exposed to pertussis might actually be going back to a household where there’s an infant under the age of one,” said Hasselback.

“Children under the age of one can have severe complications from developing the illness and our vaccination program starts at two months of age for that very reason.”

Pertussis is spread by people breathing in droplets that were coughed into the air by a sick person. And while there’s no outbreak of whooping cough on the island, it is in the province, said Hasselback.

“We have an outbreak of pertussis on the lower mainland in the Fraser Valley and people travel there and people from there travel to other parts of B.C.,” he said.

Because pertussis is in the province, the doctor said now is a good time to make sure every child is properly immunized and, if not, get it done.

“The best way of protecting against developing pertussis is to be up to date with immunization, particularly for children and infants.”

Hasselback said he believes there’s a good chance pertussis will make its way to Vancouver Island, and quite possibly onto the North Island.

“I think what happened in Port Hardy will happen against in that someone unknowingly, unwittingly and certainly not with any intent, just happens to be traveling to a large social gathering — and there’s lots of those about to happen with wedding season coming up and hockey and baseball tournaments — where there happens to be one person who’s sick. Well, I’ll be surprised to see pertussis not on the island.”

Just Posted

Rumble on the Runway returns to Port McNeill Airport

Rumble on the Runway, the North Island Timing Association’s annual summer drag… Continue reading

VIDEO: Eke Me-Xi Learning Centre Grad 2018

Grade 12 student Jade Hanuse was presented with her diploma from Principal Sheila Mcgrath.

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Port Hardy takes next step towards legal cannabis sales

Two public hearings were held to seek input on cannabis zoning bylaw

Kervin’s Corner: Eye sore or tourist attraction? District of Port Hardy to display windmill blade anyway

Do you like the idea of putting up the windmill blade on display in Port Hardy?

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Most Read