Superior School District Clarifies Original Whooping Cough Letter
The Superior School District has issued a second letter to parents about the potential for whooping cough (pertussis) exposure. This letter comes more than a week after the original letter - that was vague in the fact that it didn't detail which of the eight school buildings might have been affected nor what was the cause for concern.
This new letter still doesn't address the cause for concern - as it doesn't detail whether or not there have been diagnosed cases of pertussis; it does, however clarify that the concern is at the Superior High School "and/or" the Superior Middle School.
Issued and signed by Brynn Larrabee, RN - the Coordinator of Health Services for the district, the letter continues to encourage vaccination.
The letter also included a link to a fact sheet about pertussis from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Click here to read the handout.
[Original story below]
Pertussis is highly-contagious and marked with symptoms that start like the common cold. Over the course of a week or so, those symptoms get markedly worse, leaving infected patients with coughing spells; someone infected with whooping cough is unable to catch their breath in between coughs and sometimes gasps loudly for air - resulting in the "whoop" noise. They can also experience vomiting spells.
Again, the letter doesn't detail why the district is concerned. But it does offer advice for parents:
"...a booster dose of vaccine called Tdap is recommended for those 10-18 years of age and for adults. If you or your older children haven;t had Tdap, it is recommended that you get it. The Tdap vaccine is widely available at doctor's offices, some pharmacies, and local health departments and is generally covered by most insurance plans."