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Whooping Cough AHS notice

April 21, 2023
Notice to Parents of John Davidson School

Alberta Health Services has been made aware of additional confirmed cases of pertussis that were in
attendance at John Davidson School while infectious There has been an outbreak of Whooping Cough in
the South Zone affecting the communities spanning the County of Lethbridge, Coaldale, Taber, Vauxhall,
Grassy Lake, Fort Macleod and Bow Island declared since January 24, 2023.
In order to prevent spread of disease to others and to protect yourself and your family, please review
the following:
Background: Pertussis, also known as whooping cough or the “100-day cough,” is a disease caused by
bacteria that infects the lungs and airways. Pertussis causes serious coughing fits that can lead to
choking or vomiting. The coughing can be so intense that a ’whooping’ sound happens when an infected
person tries to catch his or her breath.
Pertussis is spread easily when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Children can also be infected by
rubbing their eyes or mouth after they touch toys or objects handled by a person infected with
pertussis. The pertussis-causing bacteria can live for two to five days on dry objects like clothes, glass or
Pertussis can also cause pneumonia, and in rare cases, seizures, brain injury and death. In Canada, one
to four deaths are related to pertussis each year. These deaths are most often in infants who are too
young to be immunized or children who are not fully immunized.
Pertussis can be treated with antibiotics. Sadly, even with treatment, pertussis can be deadly.
Prevention: Public health recommends that all children’s and adult’s immunizations are kept up to date.
Currently in Alberta vaccination for pertussis is offered at two, four, six, and 18 months and a booster at
four years and 14 years. Adults are recommended to receive a dose of Pertussis vaccine (dTaP) booster
every 10 years. Pregnant mothers are also encouraged to get a dTap vaccine between 27 and 32 weeks
gestation with each pregnancy, to provide protection to the baby for the first few months of life.

If your child develops the above symptoms and you decide to see a nurse or physician, please call the
office first to advise of possible pertussis and take this letter with you.
Testing for pertussis is done by collection of a nasal swab that detects the bordetella pertussis bacteria.
Please observe your child for symptoms that may include a mild fever, runny
nose, red watery eyes and a cough, followed by more serious coughing fits that
can last for weeks or months. The coughing fits may cause difficulty breathing,
choking and vomiting.

If your child does not have any of the symptoms mentioned above, there is no need to see a nurse or
physician for diagnosis. If you have any questions, please call Health Link Alberta at 811.
Thank you for your attention to this important health issue.

Joan Smith RN BN
Communicable Disease Control Nurse on behalf of
Dr. Vivien Suttorp MD, MPH, CCFP, FCFP, CCPE
Medical Officer of Health, South Zone
Alberta Health Services


Blairmore/Crowsnest Pass Community Health
12501 – 20 th Avenue
Blairmore, AB T0K 0E0

Ph: 403-562-5030
Fax: 403-562-7379

Bow Island Community Health
Provincial Building
802 6 Street E
Bow Island, AB T0K 0G0

Ph: 403-545-2296
Fax: 403-545-6357

Brooks Community Health (hospital)
440 3 rd Street E
Brooks, AB T1R 0X8

Ph: 403-501-3330
Fax: 403-501-3323

Cardston Community Health
Provincial Building
576 Main Street
Cardston, AB T0K OKO

Ph: 403-653-5230
Fax: 403-653-2926

Coaldale Community Health (hospital)
2100 11 th Street
Coaldale, AB T1M 1L2

Ph.: 403-345-3000
Fax: 403-345-2043

Fort Macleod Community Health (hospital)
744 – 26 th Street
Fort Macleod, AB T0L OZO

Ph.: 403-553-5351
Fax: 403-553-2333

Lethbridge Community Health/Train Station
801 – 1 st Avenue South
Lethbridge, AB T1J 4L5

Ph. Main: 403-388-6666
Fax Main: 403-328-5934

Magrath Community Health
37 E 2 Ave N
Magrath, AB T0K 1J0

Ph.: 403-758-4422
Fax: 403-758-3332

Medicine Hat Community Health
2948 Dunmore Rd SE

Ph: 403-502-8200
Fax: 403-528-2250

Medicine Hat, AB T1A 8E3
Milk River Community Health (hospital)
517 Centre Ave
Milk River, AB T0K 1M0

Ph: 403-647-3430
Toll Free:1-866-642-3430
Fax: 403-647-3435

Oyen Community Health
312 3 rd Ave E
Oyen, AB T0J 2J0

Ph: 403-664-3651
Fax: 403-664-2934

Picture Butte Community Health
301 Cowan Ave
Picture Butte, AB T0K 1V0

Ph: 403-388-6751
Fax: 403-732-5062

Pincher Creek Community Health (hospital)
1222 Bev McLauchlin Dr
Pincher Creek AB T0K 1W0

Ph: 403-627-1230
Fax: 403-627-5275

Raymond Community Health (hospital)
150 N 4 th St E
Raymond, AB T0K 2S0

Ph.: 403-752-5430
Fax: 403-752-4655

Taber Community Health (hospital)
4326 50 th Ave
Taber, AB T1G 1N9

Ph.: 403-223-7230
Fax: 403-223-8733

Vauxhall Community Health
406 – 1 st Ave. N.
Vauxhall, AB T0K 2K0

Ph: 403-223-7229
Fax: 403-654-2134

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