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School Nurse

PERTUSSIS ( Whooping Cough)

Please review the notification sent to the Acalanes Community from Principal Eric Shawn on Apr 16.
Whooping cough, also called pertussis, is a very contagious bacterial infection that can spread through close contact when people with the disease cough. Symptoms can appear 5 to 21 days after infection. It usually starts like a common cold (e.g., sneezing, runny nose, etc.), followed by a cough that worsens over one to two weeks. People with whooping cough may have coughing spells in which they can’t catch their breath between coughs. Some may loudly gasp (“whoop”) and vomit or feel like they’re choking.  There is usually no fever with whooping cough.
In general, the whooping cough vaccines are very effective in either preventing disease or decreasing its severity soon after receiving the vaccine series or booster dose. However, immunity from vaccination wanes quickly over time, so even children who have been fully vaccinated can get whooping cough. A booster vaccine (Tdap) is recommended in middle school at ages 11-12 years and is required for 7th-grade entry in California. It is also recommended for adults, especially pregnant women (with each pregnancy) and caregivers of young infants. The Tdap vaccine is widely available at doctor’s offices, some pharmacies, and local health departments and is generally covered by most insurance plans.
If you are a parent with a child or are in contact with a child:  If your child, or a child you are in contact with, has cold symptoms and is coughing, please contact your doctor. Tell the doctor that several confirmed cases of whooping cough have been reported at Acalanes. If your child has been seen by their doctor and whooping cough was diagnosed, please keep your child at home until the child has completed 5 days of the prescribed antibiotic treatment. The most accurate test for diagnosing whooping cough is collected using a nasal swab.
Pertussis Fact Sheet

See my website for more information.
Always Your School Nurse,
Dvora Citron, RN, MS, 925-280-2970 x7128
IG: acalanesschoolnurseSchool Nurse Website