With four confirmed cases of whooping cough in Pemberton, Coast Garibaldi Health is reminding parents of the importance of immunizing children against the disease.
Parents are encouraged to review their childrens immunization records and ensure their kids are protected. Routine immunization should be done at the ages of two months, four months, six months, 18 months and 4-6 years. The vaccine is safe, effective and available free by appointment at the health unit in Pemberton.
The pertussis, or whooping cough, germ is spread through the air by coughing and sneezing. The disease causes severe spells of coughing. It sometimes causes pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage or death. These complications are most often seen in infants.
Coast Garibaldi Health supplies vaccine and tracks immunization rates. Currently 92 per cent of two year olds known to the health unit in the Sea to Sky area are adequately immunized. This falls short of the provincial goal of 95 per cent.
Although the pertussis vaccine has been in Canada for about 50 years, a new type of vaccine was introduced in B.C. in 1997. The new vaccine has fewer side effects and offers better protection against pertussis.