Over 6,000 whooping cough cases in Quebec

By News Staff

The number of whooping cough cases, a highly contagious respiratory tract infection, has crossed the 6,000 mark in Quebec.

In the province, there are between 240 and 1,600 cases of whooping cough every year. And it peaks approximately every four years – the last was in 2019 with 1,269 cases.

In 2023, there were only 14 total whooping cough cases for the city of Montreal — around 400 have been recorded so far this year.

Health authorities are calling on parents to be vigilant to prevent spread. Deaths associated with whooping cough are rare, but most commonly occur in infants.

Once you become infected with whooping cough, it takes about seven to 10 days for signs and symptoms to appear, though it can sometimes take longer. It can seem like a common cold, with a runny nose, nasal congestion, red, watery eyes, fever, and cough.

Before a vaccine was developed, whooping cough was considered a childhood disease.

At the moment, 41 cases of whooping cough have required hospitalization in Quebec this year, no deaths have been reported.

The Estrie and Chaudière-Appalaches regions are reportedly where most cases have been identified in 2024, with 810 and 948 cases to date, respectively.

Experts say that it’s important for pregnant women — and other people who will have close contact with an infant — to be vaccinated against whooping cough.

The number of cases reported in 2020 and 2021 was lower (388 cases and 20 cases respectively), which may be attributable to the health measures in force in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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