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The Casper-Natrona County Health Department (CNCHD) and the Natrona County School District (NCSD) are following up on a single case of pertussis (whooping cough) in a Natrona County child from Cottonwood Elementary School.
The school nurse at Cottonwood was notified by a parent that their child tested positive for pertussis on March 5, 2014, and within a short amount of time the Wyoming Department of Health and the Casper-Natrona County Health Department confirmed the positive result.
“We have a great working relationship with the City-County Health department and worked closely throughout the day to make certain we were doing the correct thing to keep kids and staff healthy and safe” said Suzey Delger FNP, NCSD nursing coordinator.
CNCHD, with the help of the Cottonwood school nurse and Ms. Delger, are investigating the case and are identifying any close contacts that may need post-exposure prophylaxis or additional interventions. A letter from the Wyoming Department of Health went home with every student attending Cottonwood.
“If children and adults are vaccinated, the chance of developing clinical disease is remote.” said Dr. Mark Dowell, Natrona County Health Officer, “If a child develops a severe cough, contact your healthcare provider; otherwise, it is the season for colds and flu that have nothing to do with pertussis. There is no need to panic.”
Pertussis is a contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. The symptoms of pertussis are cold-like symptoms which progress to a severe cough and is a very severe disease in infants. If your child exhibits these symptoms, they may not come to school and need to be seen by their healthcare provider.
More information about pertussis may be found on CDC’s website.
The Casper-Natrona County Health Department has pertussis vaccine available for both children and adults. You may call them at 307-235-9340 for an appointment or come in anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.