Parents who have students enrolled in the Superior Public School system received an email late on Wednesday afternoon (January 15) detailing the potential that their children may have been exposed to whooping cough - also known as pertussis.  The letter - signed by Brynn Larrabee, RN - the Coordinator of Health Services for the district didn't detail exactly what their suspicions were, but the information directed parents to make sure that their child's 4-dose vaccination was up-to-date.

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."

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