April 24, 2018
RE: Possible Pertussis Exposure
There is a possibility of recent exposure to pertussis (whooping cough) for children in the Redmond School District.
Symptoms of Pertussis: Illness begins as a mild upper respiratory infection and resembles a common cold (sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever, mild cough). Within two weeks, cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs followed by a crowing of high-pitched whooping sound and is sometimes followed by vomiting. These episodes may recur for one to two months and are more frequent at night.
The best prevention against pertussis is up-to-date immunizations for Dtap/Tdap. A booster of Tdap is recommended for children at age 11. Vaccines are not 100% effective and it is still possible to become ill with pertussis, however, illness tends to be less severe in those people who are vaccinated.
Any child or staff with symptoms similar to those described above should seek a medical evaluation by their provider to rule out pertussis. If pertussis is suspected and antibiotics are prescribed for your child, they may not attend school until they have completed a minimum of five days of the prescribed medication.
For questions, please contact your child’s school nurse.