Syrian refugees trigger whooping cough exposure alert in Surrey, Aldergrove

Officials say there is no public health concern, but are assessing children and their contacts for risk

Syrian refugees trigger whooping cough exposure alert in Surrey, Aldergrove

Fraser Health is warning there may be increased risk of contracting whooping cough after incoming Syrian refugee children were exposed to the disease in eastern Canada before arriving in B.C.

Refugee families were exposed during their hotel stay in Montreal and some have since moved to Surrey’s Guildford area and Aldergrove.

Fraser officials said there is no public health concern, but there may have been additional exposures so they are following up to assess the children and their contacts for risk of contracting pertussis, commonly called whooping cough.

“There’s no confirmed cases in Fraser of pertussis in Syrian refugees,” said Fraser Health spokesperson Tasleem Juma. “This is a routine precautionary communication that we have with care providers in the community on a regular basis.”

The original exposure has been tied to a Syrian refugee who arrived in Montreal from Jordan on Feb. 16 with respiratory symptoms that were later diagnosed as pertussis.

Many Syrian refugees have incomplete vaccinations and are considered at increased risk from vaccine-preventable diseases.

Officials remind the public to have all their vaccines up to date.

Juma said whooping cough often circulates in the region.

An significant outbreak centred in the eastern Fraser Valley in 2012 resulted in more than 150 people infected with pertussis.

The highly contagious bacterial infection causes adults to cough for months and can be deadly to babies.

Early symptoms of pertussis are similar to a cold, but often worsening to severe coughing that sounds like a whoop or crowing sound as the patient breathes in. Symptoms develop seven to 14 days after infection.

For more information and a list of pharmacies that perform immunizations, see www.fraserhealth.ca/whoopingcough.

SEE ALSO: Fraser Health’s update on pertussis exposure in Syrian refugees

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jennifer Brooks with a stone tablet that adorns the memorial to her son Hudson, outside the South Surrey RCMP detachment parkade where he was fatally shot by police in July 2015. (File photo)
Coroner’s inquest underway to examine Hudson Brooks’ 2015 police-shooting death

Witness recalls ‘feeling scared’ for South Surrey man in moments before RCMP fired fatal shots

Surrey RCMP are investigating a reported assault at Panorama Ridge Secondary. (Shane MacKichan photos)
UPDATE: Third youth arrested after assault with weapon at Panorama Ridge Secondary in Surrey

School placed on a ‘hold and secure’ until safety of all students confirmed

Frannie Warwick, as Betsy Hardup, at Surrey Arts Centre for a recording of “The Fairy-Tale Mysteries” radio play series produced by Fraser Valley Gilbert & Sullivan Society. (Photo: facebook.com/FVGSS)
Video recording sessions available at Surrey Arts Centre, with fees and rules attached

Sessions ‘will be held in strict compliance with current Public Health orders and COVID-19 protocols’

Delta’s Jodi Macpherson won $25,029 in a Keno draw on Jan. 25, 2021. (BC Lottery Corporation photo)
Delta woman lands $25k keno prize

Jodi Macpherson purchased her ticket from the Town Pantry on 56th Street in Tsawwassen

Image Surrey.ca
Surrey to pony up one-third of cost to cover Cloverdale lacrosse box in 2022

This will be at the Cloverdale Athletic Park at 64th Avenue and 168th Street

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

B.C.’s court of appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Kootenay man appeals 7-year conviction for New Year’s Eve kidnapping, beating

Brandon Coons, 27, was convicted on five charges, including assault with a weapon

An investigation is underway after two VPD officers were recorded posing for pictures near a dead body at Third Beach on Feb. 24. (Screen grab/Zachary Ratcliff)
Vancouver officers placed on desk duty after filmed posing next to dead body

Pair put in ‘non-deployable, admin positions’ as the investigation into their conduct continues

Vancouver Giants president, governor and majority owner Ron Toigo welcomed the provincial announcement made on Monday, Mar. 1, 2021 that the province could soon allow WHL teams to resume competitive play. (Vancouver Giants/Special to Langley Advance Times)
Return to play news welcomed by Vancouver Giants team

rOwner, coach and players pleased by report WHL could soon resume play in B.C.

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

(Black Press file photo)
Homicide team to look into death of 11-year-old Agassiz boy

Agassiz RCMP were called out Friday to assist with a child in medical distress

Left: Oakland County Jail. Right: Canuck Todd Bertuzzi on November 2, 2005. (CP/Chuck Stoody)
Former Vancouver Canuck Todd Bertuzzi arrested for suspected DUI: report

The Canadian winger had a complicated history in the NHL

Most Read