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Pertussis outbreak in the fraser valley..

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posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 10:20 AM
Hello all,

I'm new to this forum, but not the boards. I've decided to post this here as I've received a letter from Fraser Health concerning an outbreak of petussis, or more commonly referred to as whooping cough. There has been a fairly nasty break out in the somewhat close by(30-45min drive) city of chilliwack. I have not been in contact with anyone from chilliwack, nor do I work in the town, or know anyone from the town. As I said I received this letter warning me about the recent outbreak of Pertussis, with an attached letter I am to fill out my personal information and take to the doctor to receive a prescription for one of the following; AZITHROMYCIN, ERYTHROMYCIN, CLARITHROMYCIN, TRIMETHOPRIM/SULFAMETHOXAZOLE. Now, my reason for writing this thread is one to see if anyone else has received any such letter, and to ask my beloved ATS Brothers and sisters what there thoughts are concerning both this letter and taking any of the aforementioned medications as a preventive measure. Seems rather careless to give perfectly healthy people anti-biotics (or Alternative agent Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole) as preventive care. I would think introducing large quantities of medicine into our waste systems, which inevitably will come into contact with bacteria, viruses and watery ecosystems sounds like a bad idea. Not to mention if anyone gets sick at the end of the medicine it could mutate a typical virus or bacterial infection into something worse. Is whooping cough really so bad that it needs this kind of response? Not to be all doom and gloom or crazy, but perhaps the valley is being mass prescribed these meds for another reason? Please, I'd love to hear what everyone thinks and I'm really unsure what I should do here. I don't like the idea of taking medication like this " Just in Case." I really prefer to avoid anti-biotics at all costs. I don't get vaccinated either and have yet to get sick. I have all the typical immunizations for my local, but this seems unnecessary.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 10:51 AM
Hi there. Reading this, I would think exactly like you. I also avoid antibiotics and haven't taken any in years. I would especially disagree having to taken them as a precaution, for the reasons you stated. I don't know much about whooping cough but personally I wouldn't take anything yet. But then you have the problem that if everyone else does, the causing agent might have mutated and the medication won't help you anyway. What a totally irresponsible way to deal with that outbreak. I [personally] would complain about it [but then i complain about everything
] They could have asked people to be aware, not to go to work if ill, maybe cover their mouth with masks, go to their doctors if they suspect WC. Also I am allergic against some antibiotics, how dangerous to just let people pick them up and ask them to take them.
It's either stupidity or something fishy i going on.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 10:52 AM
There is also a pertussis outbreak in California.

When my son and his wife were about to have their first baby, the doctors recommended that the immediate family get the vaccination.

We did. It's better than having a baby get pertussis.

Link to California public health site.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 11:16 AM
During the summer there were reports of whooping cough in Arkansas. On the local news they recommended that

everyone see their physician. Newspaper in Oregon during "outbreak" recommends expecting mothers to be

vaccinated. An easy search shows that "outbreaks" occur all over the country. Read into it all little more and it

seems that each area has a different recommendation for medication to use, and who needs to receive treatment.

Personally I hold very little faith in modern medical practices because of the profit motive. A few kids get a cough

and fever and walgreens wants to sell antibiotics to everyone that reads the newspaper or watches the 9 o'clock


posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 11:30 AM
I'm not from the region, I don't live there, and I didn't have any information about this until I read your post and then read about what you're talking about. I'm employed as a researcher in the biomedical field. My expertise is not in whooping cough (Pertussis), but I'm knowledgeable about much of the relevant biology.

A) Here is some more general information about the incident:

Since our last update to Fraser Health physicians on 11 January 2012, several recent cases of pertussis have been diagnosed in residents from the Agassiz and Chilliwack area, raising concern that the ongoing pertussis outbreak currently centered around Hope may be spreading to adjacent Fraser Valley communities.

Fraser Health Public Health wants to alert all Agassiz and Chilliwack area physicians of this development and again remind you that when seeing patients with upper respiratory symptoms, particularly if there has been recent contact with persons from the Hope area, to have a high index of suspicion for pertussis.

Please ask patients with coryza, mild cough, sneezing and other cold-like symptoms about exposure to anyone with paroxysmal cough. If these patients are developing pertussis, early antibiotic treatment can prevent or ameliorate the development of the pertussis cough.

If you suspect pertussis, please take a nasopharyngeal swab (MS-Pertussis kit), then start antibiotics without waiting for results. Even if you do not swab, please report a suspect case to the local Health Unit so Public Health can follow-up on any high risk close contacts for whom antibiotic prophylaxis might be offered.

Please advise suspect cases of pertussis to stay home until 5 days of antibiotic treatment have been completed. Without antibiotics, patients are infectious until 3 weeks from onset of cough.
Antibiotics for pertussis prevention are also recommended for high risk close contacts of cases: pregnant women in the 3rd trimester and babies under 1 year of age, as well as those who live with them or who share a group/family daycare with them.

This is also an opportunity to check the pertussis immunization status of all children and youth who visit your office. If your pediatric patients are missing any doses please refer them to the local Agassiz or Chilliwack Health Unit (contact numbers below) to make a vaccine appointment.

To further protect very young children, Fraser Health Public Health is also recommending that any adult living in the Agassiz or Chilliwack area (including pregnant women or expectant new parents) whose last dose of pertussis vaccine was 5 or more years ago and who has ongoing contact with young children, receive free TdaP (Adacel®) vaccination. Please note that this recommendation to be vaccinated also applies to you and your medical office staff. Any adult living on a reserve near Agassiz or Chilliwack and whose last dose of pertussis vaccine was 5 or more years ago is also eligible for free TdaP vaccine.

To order Adacel® for your office or if you have any immunization question, please contact your local Health Unit (contact numbers below). Alternatively, please refer to the ImmunizeBC website. MS-Pertussis kits can be ordered by faxing your request to BCCDC at 604-707-2606.

Other Questions? Feel free to contact a Fraser Health Medical Health Officer at: 604-587-3828 or 1-877-342-6467 (M-F, 0830-1630 hrs) or after hours at 604-527-4806.


B) Pertussis can be treated much more effectively by early antibiotic intervention than it can once a person has had symptoms for a couple days.

If started early enough, antibiotics such as erythromycin can make the symptoms go away more quickly. Unfortunately, most patients are diagnosed too late, when antibiotics aren't very effective. However, the medicines can help reduce the patient's ability to spread the disease to others.


C) It's quite dangerous to infants. If you have young children or spend time around them, you should get the treatment.

D) It's part of the standard vaccine schedule in the United States. "Typical immunizations" likely includes the Perussis vaccine. It's good for 5-10 years and is ~80% effective.

E) The antibiotics are safe, and you personally taking them won't effect the environment. If you think you might have been exposed, you should follow the recommendations.

Additional information:



The antibiotics you listed:

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 11:34 AM
I had a wicked cough for about six weeks, I hate taking antibiotics, I usually use garlic.

The raw garlic worked, and honey is good to sooth the coughing.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 11:41 AM
Pertussis is relatively mild in older children and adults. I certainly would not take antibiotics as a "precaution".

Pertussis is usually dangerous to newborns / very young infants (especially those who are not able to sit up) and that is the age before they can get the vaccine.

Here in San Diego county, we had a Pertussis outbreak. 89% of the sufferers were fully vaccinated. They have been trying to sweep that failure rate right under the rug.

I recommend very high doses of Vitamin C if you have been exposed. It may help prevent it from reaching the paroxysmal stage. As an adult, you can expect to have a heavy cold for about 10 days or so before noticing the cough setting in. I have had pertussis twice despite being fully vaccinated as a child. This last time, my cough lasted about 3 months but it would usually only affect me for a little bit each day. You can feel completely normal between coughing episodes.

Vaccination does not confer lifelong immunity. Most of the children who were vaccinated as infants are no longer protected against pertussis at school age as it wears off.

I am a survivor of near-fatal DPT reaction which resulted in encephalitis and seizures. Believe me, I have done a lot research into it.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:10 PM

Originally posted by bastet11
Here in San Diego county, we had a Pertussis outbreak. 89% of the sufferers were fully vaccinated. They have been trying to sweep that failure rate right under the rug.

They have no reason to cover anything up. It's clearly published data if you know about it. Almost everyone is vaccinated. So, whenever there is an outbreak, almost everyone will have had the vaccine. The vaccine is ~80% effective and lasts 5 to 10 years.

There's no dispute about the efficacy of the vaccine. In 1940, 200,000 cases of Pertussis were reported in the United States and the population was 40% of what it is today. In 2010, less than 30,000 cases were reported despite better diagnostics and reporting methods. It used to be a leading cause of child mortality and it isn't anymore, because of the vaccine. The incidence has decrease around 90% since the prevaccine era (the 80% effectiveness of the vaccine means individuals are less likely to get it, but also that because less people have it, people are less likely to be exposed, further reducing an individual's risk).

The reason antibiotics are a legitimate "preventative" measure in this case (but not in general) is because Pertussis is extremely contagious and the OP is at high risk due to a local outbreak. Antibiotics treat diseases, even before symptoms appear; they don't prevent you from getting them. The thinking is more, "if you have it but don't yet have symptoms, this will help you" than "this will keep you from getting it." If you're likely to have been exposed to sick individuals, Pertussis is contagious enough that you have relatively high chances of catching it. So, it makes sense to take antibiotics. There is minimal risk associated with the drugs, and in this particular illness, the efficacy of antibiotics deceases dramatically with the progression of the disease.

I don't mean to come across as hostile in my advocacy of modern medicine, but it's a matter of fact that the majority of people are better off - by a wide margin - following recommended conventional treatments, despite personal anecdotes that may lead you to believe otherwise.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 12:43 PM
Wow, a few months ago there was an outbreak of whooping cough in Edmonton and the health authorities were trying to vaccinate everyone against this. Why I'm not sure as part of our childhood vaccinations included whooping cough. I personally told them that I was not interested in getting this vaccination and that if I was unlucky to catch it and not be able to fight it off, I would then seek treatment.

posted on Feb, 13 2012 @ 01:50 PM
While I cannot comment on taking antibiotics as a preventative measure, I can certainly say that you do not want pertussis. My mother, my 13 month old son and I had this several years ago. My son had not yet been fully vaccinated due to his age and my mother and I had not had any pertussis vaccinations since we were kids. Of the 3 of us, I had the most up-to-date vaccination against this, so I was the least sick. My mother is immune compromised due to 2 previous rounds with cancer which put her in additional danger. Even though I had the lightest case, I can tell you I was really sick. After I was "well" I continued to cough for weeks afterward. However, the worst part of it all was listening to my baby boy hack and cough for 2 months (or possibly even more) after he was "well" and not being able to do much for him. He was so young that most otc meds were not an option. It was heart-breaking.

Moral to the story? If you already know there is an outbreak in your area, use your common sense. Wash your hands as often as you can and do what you can to minimize your exposure to people who are coughing or have similar symptoms.

Wishing you the best of health and luck!

posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 01:40 AM
How did you receive this letter? I'm staying in the same area and no one in the immediate family has received such a thing. Only curious as to who is privy to such a letter. :O

posted on Feb, 14 2012 @ 10:12 PM
reply to post by manicminxx

I received it in the mail, brown envelope fraser health mark in top corner. I had no idea what it was from the outside, my girlfriend was the one who opened it. Thank you all for your words of concern and consideration, and I appreciate the help.

posted on Feb, 16 2012 @ 10:30 PM
finnally found athread to talk about this today i was walking past a walgreens in wisconsin where i live, and theres one of those digital sign avertizing whooping cough vaccines,i didnt know that was a problem these days.thanks for the sorry if im not supposed to use the name of the pharmacey was not sure.ill take my beatings

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