Toronto confirms three cases of pertussis, a disease with potentially deadly side effects

Public health officials in Toronto say they have confirmed three cases of a strain of the pertussis, or whooping cough, in Toronto. Nine babies have been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as the disease, city officials said.

The cases were detected in infants less than a year old, both boys and girls, the police department said on its Facebook page on Monday, noting that they are considered rare. Children younger than 6 months and in the seventh or eighth grade should have received a full series of vaccinations against the disease, and are more likely to be vaccinated against pertussis, public health officials said.

The city identified seven cases of pertussis in the same circumstances in January 2015, as well as two people who contracted the disease after live-streaming in New York’s subway system on Aug. 1, 2015.

City health officials say they have added “at-risk populations” — including pregnant women, those caring for infants less than a year old, and those attending their mother’s immigration hearing, court or residency hearing — to their vaccination campaign to ensure that their vaccination levels are high.

Health officials emphasize that patients and families should double-check vaccination records and follow steps recommended to minimize exposure to the disease.

Dr. Sunny Singh, the medical officer of health for Toronto Public Health, said on Monday that “the threats are very low right now.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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