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Parents and guardians at University Park Elementary School have been notified of a confirmed case of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in a child who attends school there. This is the second confirmed case in a Natrona County school. A child had tested positive at the beginning of March at Cottonwood Elementary.
Pertussis is a bacterial disease of the respiratory tract that can be easily transmitted from one person to another. The disease is spread by respiratory material containing the bacteria from an infected person who sneezes or coughs. The disease is most serious in infants and children of preschool age.
Pertussis symptoms usually start within 5 to 10 days after exposure to an infected person; but, may take as long as 21 days. Initial symptoms may include: runny nose, sneezing, fever, and cough. Within two weeks, the cough may become more severe with periodic episodes of intense coughing which may be followed by vomiting. These prominent coughing episodes can help distinguish Pertussis from a regular cold.
If you or your child experience symptoms of Pertussis as described above, contact your healthcare provider to see if Pertussis could be causing the illness, and keep your child home from school.
Immunization against Pertussis is the most effective way to prevent the disease. However, some people can still develop illness even after vaccination. Health experts say it is important to make sure you and your child are up-to-date on the Pertussis vaccine and boosters. For more information about the Pertussis vaccine, please contact your healthcare provider.
More information about Pertussis may be found on the CDC’s website.
The Casper-Natrona County Health Department has Pertussis vaccine available for both children and adults. You may call them at 235-9340 for an appointment or come in anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.