Thursday, September 23, 2021
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Pertussis outbreak declared for South Zone; visitors being restricted at Chinook Regional Hospital

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Fifteen new confirmed cases of whooping cough in the last two weeks in the South Zone prompting Alberta Health Services (AHS) to declare an outbreak of the highly contagious illness.

AHS says there have already been 42 confirmed cases of pertussis in the South Zone in 2019. Last year, there were 58 confirmed cases.

The outbreak also means that those under 16-years old will be restricted from visiting Chinook Regional Hospital and visitors will be limited to two at a time per patient. Anyone with symptoms, including a cough or runny nose, are reminded to not visit when they are ill.

AHS says the restrictions are in place to protect the most vulnerable patients in the neonatal intensive care unit, as well as the labour and delivery, pediatrics and maternity units.

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All residents in the South Zone are encouraged to ensure that they and their children are up-to-date on their immunizations, since it’s the most effective method to protect against and limit the spread of pertussis.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that causes severe coughing that may last for weeks, and can impact all age groups. However, infants one year of age and younger are at the greatest risk of serious complications, including pneumonia, convulsions, brain damage and even death.

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Sam Borsato

I started my radio career in 2015, shortly after graduating from Lethbridge College. I have a very strong passion for local news.

Proudly born in 1994, I grew up most of my life in Sylvan Lake, AB and I’ve lived in the Lethbridge since 2012. I’m a below average golfer on a good day, I take as many hiking trips to Waterton as possible in the summer and I love my two cats, Outlaw and Jynx, and my dog, Maverick, more than most people I know.

I look forward to providing accurate, timely news coverage in southern Alberta for plenty of years to come!

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