Pertussis is a highly contagious disease that is spread through the air by cough, and is required to be reported to the health department
. People with pertussis may have a series of coughs followed by vomiting, or difficulty catching breath. See attached pertussis fact sheet for detailed information.
Following are the Saint Louis County Department of Health recommendations:
1. If your child comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, keep them home from school and talk to your child’s doctor without delay. Tell him/her that there has been a confirmed case of pertussis in your child’s school. Testing with a nasopharyngeal specimen to identify pertussis along with giving antibiotics early can help lower the chances of spreading the disease to others.
2. Infants less than one year old, particularly under six months, are most likely to experience severe illness that may be life threatening if they develop pertussis. Infants should be kept away from people with a cough. If your infant is exposed to pertussis notify their physician without delay. A doctor should promptly evaluate infants with any coughing illness.
3. Make certain your child is up to date on their pertussis immunization; however, this does not negate the need for testing and treatment. It is also recommended that adolescents and adults receive pertussis immunization (see bullets on attached Pertussis Fact Sheet).
If you have any questions, please consult your child’s physician or the Saint Louis County Department of Health at 314-615-1630.