Four cases of Whooping Cough at HMB High School

PRESS RELEASE

[Note: The High school is reporting four cases of students with Whooping Cough. I recent years, due in part to changes in the vaccination protocol, Whooping Cough cases have been on the rise.]

PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH) EXPOSURE NOTICE

Dear Parent or Guardian,

This letter is to inform you that there have been cases of Pertussis at Half Moon Bay High School. Pertussis is a highly communicable disease that infects the respiratory tracts and lasts for up to 6-10 weeks.

Pertussis begins with a runny nose, sneezing, possibly a low-grade fever, and mild cough. After a week or two, a persistent cough develops, which may occur in explosive bursts, sometimes ending in a high-pitched whooping sound and vomiting. Older children and adults may have a less typical cough; however, it is usually persistent and may lead to vomiting and a whoop.

Pertussis can spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The vaccine is usually protective, but sometimes even immunized children and adults can get pertussis. This is because the immunity acquired through vaccination can decrease over time

Pertussis is effectively treated with antibiotics. A person is no longer considered contagious once they have completed an age- appropriate course of antibiotic treatment.

To prevent the spread of Pertussis:

Please contact your healthcare provider if your child develops a cough and/or cold-like symptoms.

Make sure that your children are up to date with their DTaP immunizations (4 doses at 2, 4, 6 and 15 months of age, as well as a booster shot at 4-6 years of age). A booster shot (Tdap) is recommended for all adolescents aged 11-12 years of age, as well as for adults as a one-time booster in place of their routine Td vaccination.

Infants less than 6 months of age, and children who are too young to have completed the DTaP immunization series are particularly susceptible to Pertussis. Adults in close contact with infants less than 6 months of age, employees in school or child-care settings, and health-care providers are particularly encouraged to receive a Tdap booster vaccination.

For further information contact your health care provider or San Mateo County Communicable Disease Control at (650) 573-2346.

For more information on Pertussis:
San Mateo County Health System: www.smhealth.org/pertussis
California Department of Public Health: http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Pages/Pertussis.aspx

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