We have been notified that an elementary school-aged student in our district was recently diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). That student is no longer considered contagious and is receiving medical care.
Pertussis is an infection that affects the airways and is easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include coughing, sneezing, vomiting, runny nose, low-grade fever, and exhaustion after coughing fits. These symptoms can last for weeks or even months. Anyone can get pertussis, but it can be very dangerous for babies and people with weakened immune systems. Any person exhibiting these symptoms should seek the advice of a medical professional as soon as possible. You can read a letter from the Lewis County Health Department here. It contains recommendations to help prevent the spread of pertussis.
It is important to make sure your family’s vaccinations are up-to-date. Protection against pertussis from the childhood vaccine, DTaP, decreases over time. Older children and adults, including pregnant women, should get a pertussis booster shot called a “Tdap” to help protect themselves, their babies, and the people around them. If you need a Tdap booster, contact your doctor, your pharmacy, or call the Lewis County Health Department at 360-740-1223 to find a vaccine provider near you.