Another case of whooping cough has been reported on Vancouver Island, this time in Duncan.
Island health says they have sent out letters on Friday to locations where people may have come in contact with the patient.
However, they believe the person did not pose a risk to the public as they were relatively contained.
They are also stressing that two cases on the Island at this time are not above average.
“[The public] needs to check their immunization records, that’s the most important thing,” said Jennifer Parisi, a spokesperson for Island Health.
On Friday Island health also notified students and staff at Mount Douglas Secondary School in Saanich after a confirmed case at the school.
Students and staff may have been in contact with Bordetella pertussis, the bacteria that causes the contagious disease. Pertussis is spread by coughing, sneezing or close contact, such as sharing food, drinks, cigarettes or kissing someone.
Complications from pertussis are pneumonia, seizures, brain damage or even death. These complications happen most often in infants under one year of age.
“Whooping cough is really dangerous for young babies,” added Parisi.
The pertussis vaccines are provided in combination with other vaccines such as diphtheria, polio and tetanus and are free as part of a child’s routine immunizations.
A pertussis vaccine is also available for older children and adults.
A booster dose of pertussis vaccine is provided free to grade nine students in B.C. Adults who were not immunized against pertussis as children can also get a dose of the vaccine for free.
A booster dose is recommended for adults who were immunized in childhood but is not provided for free in B.C.
Pertussis begins with cold-like symptoms that may progress to a severe cough with a distinctive “whooping” sound, which may be followed by gagging and/or vomiting. Symptoms can last for several weeks
If an individual or their family members develop symptoms are asked to contact their health care provider to test for pertussis bacteria.
The B.C. Centre for Disease Control said there were 209 cases of pertussis on Vancouver Island in 2017 and 374 in 2016.
Each year in Canada, one to three deaths occur due to pertussis, mostly in babies less than three months of age who have not been immunized.