Public Health Announcements:

May 16, 2006

Re: Whooping Cough outbreak

From: Susan Hawkins R.N., Davis High nurse

We continue to identify 2-3 cases per week of pertussis (whooping cough) on the Davis High School campus. This illness begins much like the common cold, with mild nasal drainage, possibly a mild fever, aches and fatigue. After a couple of days a mild cough will develop, which will progress to a more severe cough (characterized as a "paroxysmal cough" - cough that does not respond to cough syrups or meds, produces gagging or vomiting, redness of the face.)

Pertussis is diagnosed through a naso-pharyngeal swab culture or a blood test to look for evidence of disease. Treatment must include 5 days of antibiotic therapy before a patient may return to school or work. The antibiotic does not cure the cough, but it does prevent the spread of infection to others.

Please be very suspicious of these symptoms in your children. Please do not send students with strong coughs to school. We would love to see this outbreak clear up before graduation so no one has to miss that special event.

PS == a vaccine for pertussis is now available and strongly recommended.