ALERT: Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
Pertussis is a highly infectious illness that is easily transmitted through coughing and sneezing and may persist among a population for weeks to months. Symptoms of pertussis usually occur 5 to 10 days after exposure, but can take up to 21 days to appear. Initially symptoms are similar to a common cold: a runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild occasional cough. However, the cough can become severe and spasmodic - with a distinctive "whooping" sound - and can progress to vomiting between bouts of coughing. The cough gradually becomes severe and, after a week or two, the patient has bursts of numerous, rapid coughs. The characteristic high-pitched "whoop," which is more common in children, comes from breathing in after a coughing episode. Pertussis is usually treated with a multi-day course of appropriate antibiotics. If your child has persistent cough refer to the Whooping Cough Informational Flyer (pdf) for recommendations from the Champaign Urbana Public Health District.
Urbana School District is working closely with the Champaign Urbana Public Health District, to help limit the spread of pertussis in schools.
Early Diagnosis and treatment is KEY, so we are asking your help by:
- Following the recommendations provided at the link below
- Keeping your child home if they are sick.
- Notifying your child's school if they are home with a persistent cough
- Reminding your child to use tissues when blowing their nose
- Reminding your child to cough or sneeze into their sleeve
- Reminding your child to avoid touching their T-ZONE (the eyes, nose and mouth)
Please feel free to contact the District Nurse, Sandy Martin RN, at 217-384-3564 if you have any questions or concerns.