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Increase in Pertussis Cases in the Community

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit (HKPR District Health Unit) has been notified of increased pertussis (whooping cough) activity within the school community. Parents and caregivers should be vigilant, as it is possible that children may have been exposed to this highly contagious bacterial respiratory infection.

Symptoms and Risks:

Pertussis initially presents with symptoms similar to a common cold, such as a runny nose and mild fever. Within a few days, severe coughing begins, often accompanied by a distinctive “whoop” sound before the next breath. The coughing can be intense, sometimes leading to vomiting or difficulty breathing. These severe symptoms typically last for 2 to 3 weeks but can persist for up to 1 to 2 months.

High-Risk Groups:

Infants under the age of 1 and pregnant individuals in their third trimester are at the greatest risk for severe illness. If exposed or symptomatic, they should contact their healthcare provider immediately for further assessment.

Preventative Measures:

Immunization remains the most effective defense against pertussis. The HKPR District Health Unit urges parents to ensure their children’s vaccinations are up to date. Adults should also review their immunization status, as booster doses may be necessary. Those without a healthcare provider should contact the Health Unit for assistance.

Action Steps for Parents and Caregivers:

  • Monitor your child for symptoms of pertussis. If symptoms appear, seek medical attention promptly and bring this notification with you.
  • Ensure your family’s immunizations are current by contacting your healthcare provider or the Health Unit.
  • Review and update your own immunization records to determine if a booster is needed.

Additional Information and Resources

For additional questions or concerns regarding pertussis, please reach out to your healthcare provider or the HKPR District Health Unit at 1-866-888-4577 ext. 1507.

For more detailed information about pertussis, please visit:



Media Contacts: Ashley Beaulac, Communications Manager, HKPR District Health Unit,, 1-866-888-4577 x 1212 or Marianne Rock, Manager of Communicable Disease Prevention and Control, HKPR District Health Unit, 1-866-888-4577, ext. 1486

About the Haliburton, Kawartha Pine Ridge District Health Unit

The Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit provides important public health programs and services to residents in Northumberland County, Haliburton County, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. Our dedicated team of public health professionals, led by our Medical Officer of Health, promote healthy living, protect against disease, and prevent illness and injury. We work with health care providers and community partners to address emerging health issues, service gaps and social inequities to support residents in being well and reaching their full potential. Our values of trust, engagement, accountability, and leadership guide what we do every day. Learn more at

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