Pertussis (Whooping Cough) Advisory – January 2016

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This advisory letter is to inform you that a single case of Pertussis (whooping cough) has been reported at St. Francis Catholic High School. The student is home recuperating and on a treatment of antibiotics. The following is the information to be disseminated to parents concerning the illness.

Pertussis is an infection of the respiratory system caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis. It is characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a whooping sound when the person breathes in. Although Pertussis can occur at any age, it’s most severe in unimmunized children and in infants under 1 year of age. More cases have been reported in teens and adults because their immunity has faded since their original vaccination.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommended that children who are 11-18 years old get a booster shot that includes a Pertussis vaccine. Even though most children are immunized against this disease, immunity only lasts a few years, making students in junior high and high school susceptible to the disease.

If your child lives with any of the following people and may have been exposed to pertussis, you should consult your family physician.

  • A woman who is pregnant
  • An infant younger than 1 year old
  • Anyone with a weakened immune system

We have provided the link to the Sacramento County Department of Health concerning Pertussis.  We hope this information is of help to you. If you have any questions or should your child show signs and symptoms, please contact your family physician and notify the school.

For more information, click HERE

St. Francis follows strict protocols to assist students in staying healthy. The best way to stop the spread of any illness is to:

  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough.
  • Use alcohol based hand cleaners (provided in all areas of campus).
  • If you are ill, stay home and limit contact with others.
  • Get a booster shot for various childhood illnesses.

At this time this is an advisory notice only.