Alberta Health Services says the North Zone has had 13 cases of whooping cough since the beginning of January.
Three of those have been in school kids in the last month or so in and around Grande Prairie.
North Zone Medical Officer of Health Dr. Albert DeVilliers says this is not unusual for this time of year.
“It does happen this time of the year, we get some pertussis cases and then we tend to send out very generic letters just to tell the other parents that if they see their kids are showing symptoms to make sure they go to the doctor and get assessed and treated, if needed,” adding “A few years ago, I think it was last year or the year before, we had quite an outbreak of pertussis, if you remember that, and there were many more, so we sent out more of these letters at that point because there was an actual outbreak. This time it’s a little bit lower key, which is good, so we’ve got less cases.”
Dr. Albert Devilliers says this is a good reminder to make sure kid’s vaccinations are up to date.
“Most of the cases we’ve had so far this year were either not fully immunized or not immunized at all and that’s the people who tend to get these diseases. Sometimes, people think it’s not that serious, but it is always serious. We’ve had some people die because of pertussis as well, the whooping cough, so we need to make sure we get everybody protected as much as we can.”
DeVilliers says when there are some whooping cough cases, AHS will send letters to parents, asking them to take their kids to the doctor if they show symptoms. One such letter recently went out to parents at Wembley Elementary (pictured above).