Avoiding pertussis (whooping cough) The current outbreak of pertussis is expected to continue into the 2017/18 school year. Parents can protect their children and others from exposure by:
washing hands often
covering mouths when coughing/sneezing
ensuring immunizations are up to date
staying home if unwell
remaining at home for 5 full days after starting antibiotics for pertussis
Pertussis is highly contagious and can easily be spread in schools through coughing, sneezing or by touching surfaces that have been contaminated and are not properly cleaned. A person with pertussis can be contagious for several weeks, and it takes as little as five minutes of face-to-face contact to spread pertussis.
Early symptoms include: sneezing, runny nose and low-grade fever, followed by a cough which can worsen to coughing fits, whoops, or coughing that ends in gagging/vomiting. Coughing can be worse at night and can last up to a month or two.
For more information about pertussis, contact: your family physician or community health centre, Yukon Communicable Disease Control at 667-8323 or the Yukon Health Line by dialing 811. You can also find more information on HealthLink BC’s webpage at www.healthlinkbc.ca/health-topics/hw65653.