Friday, September 17, 2021
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AHS warning of jump in whooping cough in Lethbridge region

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There’s been a spike in whooping cough (Pertussis) cases across the area and that’s prompting a reminder from local health officials to make sure residents get immunized and take necessary precautions to limit the spread of the infection.

Alberta Health Services (AHS) says 11 new cases of whooping cough have been confirmed in the past week in Lethbridge, County of Lethbridge and Raymond.

There have now been 38 confirmed cases of whooping cough this year in AHS South Zone. There were 58 cases in this region in all of 2018.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing that may last for weeks. It can also impact people of all ages, however young kids are most susceptible.

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Local Medical Health Officer, Dr. Lizette Elimur says immunization is the best way to protect against and limit the spread of pertussis. “All residents in South Zone are encouraged to ensure they, and their children, are up-to-date on their shots.”

She notes anyone who is uncertain of their immunization history, or their child’s, can contact their local community health centre or public health office to discuss and to book an appointment.

In Alberta, vaccine that protects against pertussis is offered to children, free of charge, through Alberta’s Routine Childhood Immunization schedule. Pregnant women in the third trimester (26 weeks) are also offered pertussis-containing vaccine. All adults 18 years of age and older are advised to receive one adult dose of pertussis-containing vaccine.

Pertussis illness starts with a runny nose, sneezing, fever and mild cough. Typically, over about a week, the cough will become more severe with repetitive coughing spells. In younger children, these coughing spells are usually followed by a “whooping” sound when inhaling. Vomiting following a coughing spell is also common in young children.

(With files from AHS South Zone)

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Patrick Siedlecki

Pat has been a mainstay in the CJOC News department from the time the station launched in 2007. He’s been in the position of News Director since then and has been anchoring daily news casts as well as reporting and working behind the scenes.

Community is important to him and keeping CJOC listeners and readers informed about what’s happening across southern Alberta and beyond.

Pat has been in radio broadcasting for the past 24 years, starting in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island in 1997 and then moving up island to Nanaimo for another few years before heading to Lethbridge in 2007.

Pat grew up in the small Saskatchewan farming town of Foam Lake. After high school, he went to Western Academy Broadcasting College (WABC) in Saskatoon prior to moving to the island.

Pat also spent several years broadcasting hockey in the BCHL as well as seven years as the radio voice of the Lethbridge Hurricanes in the WHL.

Pat has been working at Cornerstone Funeral Home in Lethbridge as a Certified Life Celebrant and Funeral Assistant since 2016.

News and sports have always been Pat’s passion from the time he was a teenager and he’s always been grateful to have had the opportunity to make that part of what’s been a fun and long radio career!

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