08/23/2013 08:44 EDT | Updated 10/23/2013 05:12 EDT

Whooping Cough Outbreak In West Kootenay

A whooping cough outbreak in the West Kootenay region of B.C. has concerned health officials reminding parents to immunize children.

The outbreak is centred in Trail and Rossland, with 19 people diagnosed with the chronic cough in less than three months

'We usually see one or two [cases] if that," said Dr. Robert Parker, medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority, noting the West Kootenay has one of the lowest immunization rates in the province.

"When a large percentage of a population is vaccinated, a disease can’t take hold," said Parker.

The cough can last months for adults and children; it can be fatal for new born babies.

"It does take a village to raise and protect all children. Each parent immunizing their child protects not only them but their friends and neighbours children."

This is not the first outbreak for the region. Parker says there were major outbreaks in 2006 and 2010.

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