Nunavut's whooping cough outbreak is over, says health dept.

Nunavut's whooping cough outbreak is officially over, according to the territory's chief medical officer of health.

The outbreak of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, started in Pond Inlet in May 2016 and spread to 11 communities in the Qikiqtaaluk and Kivalliq regions. It was deemed the largest whooping cough outbreak on record in Nunavut.

"I wish to thank residents of Nunavut for being proactive, getting immunized and helping to stop the spread of pertussis," said Dr. Kim Barker, Nunavut's chief medical officer of health, in a news release.

Barker says health care staff "worked tirelessly to immunize and care for patients" with whooping cough.

Pertussis is a disease of the throat and lungs that spreads from person to person and can be very serious or fatal. Symptoms include a cough followed by an unusual "whoop" sound or a funny-sounding cough, or vomiting, or having difficulty breathing after coughing.

The Nunavut Department of Health is still urging people to continue with childhood vaccinations and to protect themselves against pertussis by regular hand washing, coughing into sleeves or tissues, not sharing drinks or toothbrushes, and not smoking indoors.