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Pertussis Outbreak

Current Situation: South Zone, Outbreak

Alberta Health Services (AHS) has declared an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) in the west part of AHS South Zone, including the communities of Lethbridge, Lethbridge County, Raymond, Taber and area. Read the Public Service Announcement.

Residents are encouraged to ensure that they, and their children, are up-to-date on immunizations. Visit www.immunizealberta.ca

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.

Protect yourself & your family: All Albertans

To reduce the risk to South Zone residents, and all Albertans, we need to ensure as many people as possible are up to date with their immunizations.

Please be sure that you and your children are up to date on all recommended immunizations, including those that protect against pertussis.

Find the routine childhood immunization schedule here, and see below for additional routine recommendations for adult protection from pertussis.

Pertussis Quick Facts:

  • Pertussis (whooping cough) is a bacterial infection of the airways. It is easily spread (by sneezing or coughing) and by direct contact with someone who is infected.
  • The pertussis bacteria can live for two to five days on dry objects like clothes, glass or paper.
  • The infection can cause coughing so severe that children and adults can have difficulty breathing or eating, and the coughing can last for months.
  • Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, convulsions, brain injury and even death. Children with serious complications may require long-term hospitalization, and babies are particularly vulnerable, including to death.
  • Those who are unvaccinated or under-vaccinated are at risk.
  • More Info:

Routine Immunization Recommendations:

  • In Alberta, vaccine that protects against pertussis is offered to children, free of charge, through Alberta’s Routine Childhood Immunization schedule.
  • All adults 18 years of age and older are advised to receive one adult dose of pertussis-containing vaccine.
  • Pregnant women should get a pertussis containing vaccine (dTap) every time they are pregnant, even if they have had it before. In Alberta, it is usually given between 27 and 32 weeks. If you are outside of this time frame talk to your healthcare provider about when you should get this vaccine.
  • Offering vaccine to women every time they are pregnant is an important step in protecting both the mother and their infant, as infants are the most vulnerable to developing severe complications from pertussis.

Current Pertussis Data

Confirmed Pertussis Cases in Alberta, by Zone; 2019 (Year-To-Date)*

Zone Diagnosed Cases
South 59
Calgary 70
Central 38
Edmonton 52
North 66
Unknown 1
Alberta 286

* Note: data in this chart will be updated Thursdays, starting October 17/19

Page last updated November 14, 2019