January 26, 2016
Women who are 26 weeks pregnant or more should make sure they are up-to-date on their Tetanus-Diphtheria-Pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. Prairie North Health Region (PNHR) is encouraging pregnant women to contact their nearest public health office to find out if they require a booster.
Dr. Mandiangu Nsungu, Medical Health Officer with PNHR, cautions that “Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a serious bacterial infection of the respiratory (breathing) system. Anyone can get pertussis, but the disease is most severe in children less than one year of age, when it can be fatal. This disease is also considered severe in pregnant women in the last trimester of pregnancy as it can be passed to the newborn with the potential to cause severe complications and death.”
Melissa Roenspies, a PNHR public health nurse in Meadow Lake, says “It has been an eye opening experience to work with our clients through the recent pertussis outbreak in Meadow Lake and to see how many people can be affected in a very short period of time.”
Since the end of November 2015 to date, 26 cases of pertussis have been confirmed in Meadow Lake.
Roenspies stresses, “It is so important to be up-to-date with vaccinations. It also reminds us how important it is for people to be vaccinated to protect those who cannot receive vaccinations themselves, like young babies who are most vulnerable and cannot receive their vaccination until two months of age.”
“Getting your Tdap at 26 weeks of pregnancy is the most ideal time as it will allow for your baby to build some immunity against whooping cough and will protect the infant until he or she is eligible to get vaccinated at age two months,” added Danielle Radchenko, PNHR Public Health Nursing Supervisor based in North Battleford. “Coming for your Tdap at 26 weeks is best, but the immunization can be given at any time after this.”
Public Health clinics in Lloydminster, Meadow Lake, North Battleford and rural communities in Prairie North will continue to offer opportunities for immunization on an as needed basis. Please call your local public health office to arrange an appointment.
PNHR Public Health Services in North Battleford will also be holding two specific clinics for pregnant women on Thursday January 28 from 8:45 a.m. to 12 noon, and on February 3 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Please contact the North Battleford public health office at 306-446-6400 for an appointment time.
For more information or to arrange interviews, contact:
Linda Lewis, PNHR Communications Officer
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