September 7, 2016
A confirmed of pertussis (whooping cough) has been identified in Pike Township High School and exposure to some students and staff may have occurred either in the classroom or on the bus. Please be alert for the symptoms of pertussis listed below in order to prevent further cases.
Symptoms usually begin 7-10 days following exposure (range 4-21 days). The first symptoms of pertussis are those of the common cold with a mild cough. After a week or two, the cough becomes more severe and may occur more frequently during sleep. As the cough gets worse, it usually includes a series of coughs (“coughing fits or spasms”). Vomiting may follow the coughing spell and possible difficulty catching their breath, which may cause a whooping sound. Generally, there is no fever or only a low grade fever with pertussis.
It is important that you not send your child to school if he or she has any of the signs and symptoms of pertussis mentioned above. If you suspect your child may have pertussis you should contact your doctor. If children with these symptoms are present in our school their parents will be called to take them home and have them evaluated by a physician. Please take this letter to your child’s physician as a source of reference.
If your physician suspects that your child has pertussis, testing may be performed. If your physician prescribes an antibiotic for treatment because your child is symptomatic, the student must remain isolated at home until after taking 5 FULL days of an appropriate antibiotic. All household members of a suspected case should also be given antibiotics for prevention.
Complete pertussis immunization is helpful in preventing disease. Fully vaccinated persons can still contract the disease. Please check the immunization status of all family members to ensure they are up-to-date on a pertussis containing vaccine, Dtap for persons less than seven years of age or Tdap vaccine for some 7- 10 year olds, and all persons 11 years of age and older. Pregnant women should receive a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy. Your physician or local health department should be able to assist you in determining if vaccination is needed.
More information about whooping cough ISDH Website:http://www.in.gov/isdh/25446.htm.
Jennifer Case-Tardiff, RN
Nurse Epidemiologist, Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Marion County Public Health Department
(Click Here to Download Letter)