Friday, March 2, 2012

Undiagnosed Pertussis (Whooping Cough) on the rise

In my years teaching, I've had quite a few kids who sit in my classroom with this tell-tale whoop.
When I got it last month, I could not fight it.
Unfortunately, kids need a booster around the age of 16, yet adults need it, too.
I work with frail, vulnerable seniors, and I took myself out of the system while dealing with this virus.
It is my belief that whooping cough is going undiagnosed in the ERs of this land. I think it much more prevalent than we think. It is the primary purpose of the ER to get people through its doors and out the other end, but this kind of diagnosis is a very important one. If you've been coughing all night, to the point of throwing up, you're not going to schedule an appointment with your GP, the logical person to determine your illness.

This is a highly contagious disease. It is important we have the data to determine how to prevent it.
It is important that those working with seniors, children, and pregnant women, avoid getting the virus.
It is important that healthcare pays for this vaccination, as those who cannot afford to get ill: those without a doctor, those without the means to pay for drugs, or transportation to doctor's appointments, are the most vulnerable.

 Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care - Public Information ...

H1N1 vaccine
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) is a serious, sometimes fatal, respiratory infection caused by the bacterium, Bordetella pertussis. It is very contagious.
  • Characterized by a cough that lasts 6 - 10 weeks, victims have difficulty breathing, may have a fever, or vomit. Vaccinations in young children reduce the severity of the disease.
  • The vaccination was introduced in 1943, and it was only effective 50% - 80% as protection decreases over time.
  • The new vaccine acellular pertussis vaccine, was introduced in the summer of 1997. This new vaccine 
  • is estimated to be at least 80% effective, and its use appears to have resulted in a
  • further decrease in the number of reported pertussis cases. | White Coat, Black Art | Incompetent Doctors: who ...
... I had a situation after Christmas I had a sore throat that led to a bronchitis...
So when the bronchitis developed I went to a walk in clinic. ... - 14k - 2011-12-28

Number of Whooping Cough Cases in B.C.

About 150 cases of whooping cough have now been reported in the Lower Mainland as health officials warn the disease is spreading west of the Fraser Valley. Date: Friday Feb. 24, 2012 2:22 PM PT
The outbreak began in early December in eastern communities like Hope and Chilliwack, but Fraser Health officials say cases have now been reported in Maple Ridge, Langley, Surrey and Burnaby.
Health officials are urging adults in the affected cities to get vaccinated if they are in contact with young children.
Medical health officer Dr. Elizabeth Brodkin told CTV News that outbreaks of the disease are cyclical, and are usually seen every five-to-10 years.
"The immunity in the population builds up when there's an outbreak and everybody becomes immune to it, and then over time that immunity wanes and 10 years later an outbreak hits," she said.
Doctors' offices and many pharmacies throughout the Fraser Health region are offering free vaccinations for adults and teens who haven't had a booster in more than five years and if they regularly deal with young children. The vaccine is effective for between four and 10 years.

Whooping cough cases a concern


Updated 21 days ago, Feb. 9, 2012
A dramatic increase in the number of reported cases of whooping cough in both infants and adults has officials at Elgin St. Thomas Public Health alarmed. (St. Thomas is on the north shore of Lake Erie.)
In the past six months, there have been 66 cases of whooping cough, known medically as pertussis.
That's a lot higher than the average six or seven cases reported in an average year, said Laura McLachlin, director of health protection.

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