A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Mount Douglas secondary school as of March 7. (Google Maps)

A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Mount Douglas secondary school as of March 7. (Google Maps)

Whooping cough confirmed at Saanich high school

Nagging cough can be fatal for infants

Island Health confirmed at least one student at Mount Douglas secondary has been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis).

The health agency and school sent a letter to students and parents on Thursday with hopes to stem further outbreak of the airborne bacteria.

READ MORE: No confirmed cases of measles on Vancouver Island despite mainland outbreak

“Individuals who have attended the school may have been in contact with the bacteria, which are spread by coughing,” said the letter.

Whooping cough for teens is a nagging, uncomfortable illness though it is a much greater health concern for infants as it can be fatal for those under one year of age. Therefore, Island Health is asking the community to be careful in tracking who has been exposed to any confirm cases.

READ MORE: Whooping cough detected in Claremont student

“Infants are very vulnerable, and about one infant out of every 170 who gets pertussis will die from it,” said Island Health spokesperson Meribeth Burton.

Pregnant mothers in their third trimester can also be at risk as they may expose their newborn infant after birth.

Island Health reported that Vancouver Island had 213 confirmed cases of whooping cough in 2017 and 373 confirmed cases in 2016, the latter being the highest number of cases reported on Vancouver Island in recent years.

The cough begins with cold-like symptoms that may progress to a severe cough with a distinctive ‘whooping’ sound, which may be followed by gagging or vomiting.

Symptoms can last for several weeks.

If someone is diagnosed with pertussis, antibiotic treatment will be needed. After five days of treatment, the individual will no longer be considered infectious and can return to school or work.

A vaccine for pertussis is among the immunization protocol for B.C. children, usually given during the first year of life, then again around 18 months and again upon entering Kindergarten.

There is one additional booster shot when children are in Grade 9.

Anyone who develops the symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider to test for pertussis bacteria.

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police arrested a wanted man April 19, seizing drugs, firearms and body armour. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Drugs, loaded weapons, body armour seized from Victoria suite

Man was wanted for the possession of drugs for the purpose of trafficking

Colwood resident Maria Curcic shows off a one-of-a-kind hat that she created. Curcic is one of several artists that took part in the annual Stinking Fish Studio Tour. (Contributed - Maria Curcic)
Curtain closes on Stinking Fish Studio Tour

The Stinking Fish Studio Tour will live on through the lasting legacy… Continue reading

Saanich police are asking for help locating missing woman Megan Letham who was last seen in the Mount Douglas Park area on April 17 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo courtesy of Saanich Police Department)
MISSING: Saanich police searching for Megan Letham

Letham’s last known location was near Mount Douglas Park April 17

Royal Roads University’s president Philip Steenkamp and gardener Greg Higgs restart the restored water wheel at the campus’ Japanese Garden. (Photo courtesy of Royal Roads University)
Restored water wheel returns to Japanese Garden at Royal Roads in Colwood

The wooden wheel was initially installed betweem 1915 and 1930

New figures show Canadian housing prices outpacing those in other developed countries. (Black Press Media file photo)
Canadian housing prices fastest rising in the world

Relative to 2000, housing prices have risen by a factor of more than 2.5

In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars Monday, April 19, 2021. The little 4-pound helicopter rose from the dusty red surface into the thin Martian air Monday, achieving the first powered, controlled flight on another planet. (NASA via AP)
VIDEO: NASA’s Mars helicopter takes flight, 1st for another planet

The $85 million helicopter demo was considered high risk, yet high reward

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Orca 1
Orcas: Our Shared Future finally surfaces at Royal B.C. Museum

Museum dives into the world of the killer whale as delayed feature exhibition now open

Polystyrene has been outlawed as a take-out option for restaurants in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Black Press Media file photo)
Styrofoam done as a takeout option on Island’s Pacific Rim

Tofino and Ucluelet ban polystyrene take-out containers

The IIO is investigating after a police dog bit a man during a traffic stop near Ladysmith on April 17, 2021. (Black Press Media stock photo)
IIO investigating after police dog bites man near Ladysmith

RCMP dog bit man during traffic stop on Friday, April 17

Joudelie King wants to get out and live life to the fullest, but there are places she can’t go because they don’t meet her accessibility needs. (submitted photo)
New online tool provides accessibility map for people with disabilities

The myCommunity BC map provides accessibility info for nearly 1,000 locations in the province

British Columbia’s provincial flag flies in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Wildfire fanned by winds near Merritt prompts evacuation alert

BC Wildfire Service says the suspected human-caused blaze was fanned by winds

Most Read