The Prairie North Regional Health Authority says there has been an increase in Whooping Cough in Meadow Lake.

The disease, also known as Pertussis, is extremely dangerous for children and pregnant women in their third trimester, as the disease can be fatal for children.

Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, fever and cough, which gets worse over time, leading to severe coughing spells with a whooping sound before the next breath. It can last up to two months, and make it very hard to breathe. Complications include pneumonia, seizures and brain disorder. The cough can be prevented by a vaccine given at 2, 4, 6 and 18 months of age.

The PNRHA recommends that everyone make sure their children’s immunizations are up to date, recommends caregivers of infants receive the vaccine, and that all women more than 26 weeks pregnant get vaccinated, regardless of their previous immunization history. The organization also says that if anyone experiences a cough that lasts more than two weeks or any other symptoms of the disease to see their doctor.