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Whooping cough outbreak ends in Dehcho region

The whooping cough outbreak that was declared in the Dehcho region back in January has ended.

The whooping cough, or pertussis outbreak was declared on January 13, 2021.

No new cases had been identified since January 16, when four cases were confirmed in Jean Marie River and Fort Simpson.

The GNWT announced their health advisory about the outbreak had been rescinded, with February 27 is the official date the outbreak ended as “two full incubation periods have occurred” with no additional cases.

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“Although the outbreak is over, residents should still protect themselves and their loved ones from pertussis by getting vaccinated,” a statement from the health department read.

“The pertussis-containing vaccine is safe and effective, although immunity from the pertussis vaccine may fade over time,” the statement adds. “An adolescent booster dose is offered in grade 7 and every 10 years as an adult.”

Yellowknife and Tłı̨chǫ had its own pertussis outbreak back in January 2020, which was lifted in May. Twenty cases were reported during that outbreak.

The GNWT recommends pregnant women get a pertussis-containing vaccine between 27 to 32 weeks of their pregnancy, regardless of when their last dose took place. 

This booster in pregnancy protects the newborn by protecting their mother in pregnancy.

The vaccine is free of charge and is part of the routine NWT Immunization Schedule.

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