The Deschutes County Public Health Department has confirmed a case of whooping cough in a student at Summit High School.
It’s the third confirmed case of the illness, also known as pertussis, at a Central Oregon school since November.
Health officials then confirmed cases at Bend High and Obsidian Middle School in Redmond.
Parents of students at the school received the notice from Tami Pike, the health services supervisor at Bend-La Pine Schools.
According to the letter, the following steps should be taken to prevent or reduce the risk of developing this illness:
– If your child is ill with a respiratory illness, please consult your medical provider for evaluation and let them know that there was a case of pertussis in your child’s school.
– Symptoms of Pertussis: Illness begins as a mild upper respiratory infection and resembles a common cold (sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever, mild cough). Usually, 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. A thick, clear mucous may be discharged. These episodes may recur for one to two months and are more frequent at night.
Any student or staff with symptoms similar to those described above should seek a medical evaluation by their provider to rule out pertussis. Oregon Public Health Authority and Deschutes County Health say that when 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 to ensure that they are no longer contagious.
The best prevention against pertussis is up to date immunizations for Tdap. 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.
If you have further questions, please contact Deschutes County Health Services, Communicable Disease Line at 541-322-7418.