Source: Windsor Star (Canada)
By: Fantoni, Beatrice
Whooping cough cases have spiked in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent in Southwestern Ontario, with Windsor-Essex reporting 29 cases since November 2011, when it normally would report only a few cases per year. Dr. Allen Heimann, chief medical officer of health in Windsor-Essex, calls it “an immunization issue,” as most cases involved individuals who were not fully vaccinated. Whooping cough cases have surged in all of Ontario over the last year, with 600 cases reported since January, according to Dr. Shelley Deeks, medical director of immunizations for Public Health Ontario. Although infants too young to be vaccinated account for a majority of cases, some partially- and fully-immunized people have contracted whooping cough. Deeks says this indicates that many people have not been vaccinated and that the effectiveness of the whooping cough vaccine wanes over time. Health officials are stressing the important of adults receiving the recommended booster shots.