Pertussis, also known as Whooping Cough, is on the rise in Okotoks.

According to a March 12 statement from Alberta Health Services, 17 cases have been identified in Okotoks since November of 2023, with one hospitalization.

They've confirmed 39 total cases in the Calgary Zone, which includes Okotoks.

According to AHS, pertussis illness starts with flu-like symptoms, eventually developing into repetitive coughing spells, often followed by vomiting.

They're advising anyone who may be sick with pertussis to stay home and contact a family physician or 811.

"Immunization is the best method to protect against and limit the spread of pertussis, along with regular hand washing, covering coughs, staying home when sick, and remembering not to share drinks, food, or cutlery. Pertussis immunization is safe and effective against preventing severe illness. In Alberta, it is free of charge for all children less than 18 years of age, people who are in the third trimester of pregnancy (27 weeks), and adults who have not had a tetanus booster in the past 10 years. Pertussis vaccine in Alberta also protects against tetanus and diphtheria," reads the release.

Immunization information can be found on the AHS website.