December 13, 2017
LETHBRIDGE – Pertussis disease activity in the South Zone of Alberta Health Services (AHS) has decreased to such an extent as to no longer represent an outbreak situation. As such, effective immediately, the South Zone Medical Officer of Health (MOH) has declared the South Zone pertussis outbreak (active since June 5, 2017) to be over.
From the onset of this outbreak until Dec 7, 2017, 441 cases of pertussis were confirmed in the South Zone, of which 388 were connected with the outbreak.
Standard pertussis surveillance and follow-up work undertaken by AHS will continue across all Zones, and the importance of routine childhood immunizations – including protecting against pertussis - continues to be stressed. Pertussis continues to occur with frequency in unimmunized populations in South Zone and other parts of Alberta.
In Alberta, pertussis immunization is offered free of charge. A series of doses is recommended starting at two months of age; again at four, six and 18 months; at four to six years; and again in Grade 9. Following this schedule ensures protection is complete and up-to-date. Albertans who have not received a dose of pertussis vaccine since turning 18 years of age are also eligible to receive a single additional dose in adulthood.
In the South Zone, pregnant women will continue to be offered the pertussis vaccine in their third trimester of every pregnancy, to protect vulnerable newborns. All Albertans can prevent illness and the spread of disease by following the recommended immunization schedule.
Albertans uncertain about their immunization history, or their child’s immunization history, are encouraged to contact their local public health office or Health Link at 811, to discuss immunization needs.
As always, AHS encourages anyone who suspects they, or a family member, may be sick with pertussis to stay at home and call a family physician or Health Link (at 811) before seeking medical care. For more information on routine childhood immunizations, pertussis, and other vaccine-preventable diseases, visit www.immunizealberta.ca.
Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.
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