IS YOUR CHILD AT RISK?
This bacterial illness is spread by droplets from the mouth, nose and throat of an infected person. Students who have received at least three doses of the DTaP Vaccination series as part of their childhood immunizations will have some protection against Pertussis; but, protection from Pertussis wanes approximately 5-12 years following vaccination. Therefore, it is important that over the next 21 days that you watch for signs of Pertussis in your student.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF PERTUSSIS?
The symptoms of Pertussis usually occur in two stages. The first stage begins like a cold, with a runny nose, sneezing and possibly a low-grade fever. The second stage of Pertussis includes uncontrolled coughing spells or fits. When a child breathes in, they may give a whooping noise. The second stage can last for 6-10 weeks.
Infants under 6 months:
Sometimes symptoms in infants are different. Small infants may stop breathing for a period of time. Also, they may not have a whoop. Infants who are not fully immunized have the most severe disease and could require hospitalization.
A pregnant mother in the third trimester may transmit Petussis to her newborn infant shortly after birth. Pregnant women with symptoms of Pertussis should see their healthcare provider as soon as possible and get treated if they have Pertussis.
Older children and adults:
Pertussis starts like a cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and cough. Then it turns into bronchitis, which is raspy, hoarse coughing. This can last for weeks. The coughing spells may be so bad that the person can’t sleep and may vomit.
WHAT CAN YOU DO:
1. Watch for signs and symptoms of Pertussis.
2. If you suspect you or a family member may have Pertussis, contact your physician immediately.
3. If your doctor diagnoses Pertussis, please contact the Health Department immediately at (435) 792-6500 or call the after hour line at 716-8771.
4. If you have children younger than 7 years of age who are not up to date on their immunizations contact your local health care provider.
If you have questions, please contact your Health Care Provider or the Bear River Health Department at (435) 792-6500.