See your pharmacist for vaccine
VANCOUVER, April 20, 2012 /CNW/ - As the whooping cough outbreak continues in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health regions, it is strongly recommended that children, pregnant women and parents with young children receive the publicly-funded whooping cough vaccine.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious bacterial infection in the lining of the respiratory tract. It can be particularly dangerous for young children and infants, and in some cases can be life-threatening.
The Fraser Health Authority has reported 255 cumulative cases since the start of the outbreak - a 25 per cent increase in the past month. Cases are being reported across the region, with more recent cases reported from Delta, Surrey, and Maple Ridge.
An increase in whooping cough activity has also been reported in Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) since January 2012. As of April 16, 58 confirmed cases have been reported from across all geographic regions of VCH. In both health authorities, there are likely more cases that remain undiagnosed and therefore unreported.
Pharmacists in Fraser Health and VCH can provide a free whooping cough vaccine to eligible patients, including pregnant women and their partners, everyone who has contact with young children, and all aboriginal people.
Community pharmacists have administered an estimated 10,000 whooping cough vaccines since the outbreak began in Hope this past December.
"We're encouraging everyone in contact with young children, including pregnant women, to talk to their pharmacist about getting the whooping cough vaccine," said Parkash Ragsdale, deputy CEO and Director of Professional Services at BC Pharmacy Association. "Community pharmacists are a very accessible and convenient option for patients seeking immunization."
Many community pharmacists around the province provide other publicly-funded vaccinations such as influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. There are more than 1,600 pharmacists in BC who are authorized to administer injections.
To find a participating pharmacy in Fraser Health, go to: http://www.fraserhealth.ca/whooping-cough.
The British Columbia Pharmacy Association (BCPhA) is a not-for-profit, voluntary, professional association of pharmacists and pharmacies. It represents more than 2,600 pharmacists and 800 pharmacies throughout British Columbia.
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