Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

December 2015

There have been a number of confirmed cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) reported in schools in Farmington School District since October 2015.

Dakota County Public Health is asking for parents to please be aware of the symptoms of Pertussis and if your child has been coughing for 7 days or longer please contact your healthcare provider to discuss Pertussis testing and treatment.

Please be aware that individuals with weakened immune systems, infants, and pregnant women are at increased risk of Pertussis and should contact their provider if they have had contact with someone with Pertussis or if they are experiencing symptoms of Pertussis.

Pertussis may begin with a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough, and possibly a low-grade fever. After 1 or 2 weeks, the cough worsens and begins to occur in sudden, uncontrollable bursts. These coughing attacks can end in vomiting and/or in a high-pitched whooping noise. Coughing attacks often happen at night and the cough may last up to three months.

Protection from pertussis vaccination disappears over time. For this reason, pertussis can occur in those who may have been fully vaccinated in the past. Symptoms of pertussis may be milder in adults and older children who can unknowingly pass on the disease to infants who are at risk for more severe illness.

GET VACCINATED:
A pertussis vaccine for adolescents and adults is available and is given with the tetanus-diphtheria booster (Tdap). Anyone 10 years and older who has not already received this vaccine is encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible.

WATCH FOR SYMPTOMS:
If you or someone in your classroom or family has a cough and has had contact with someone with pertussis or has been coughing for 7 days or longer, discuss pertussis with your healthcare provider.

More information on pertussis can be found at: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/pertussis/index.html.