RENO, Nevada (KOLO) – The Washoe County Health District has confirmed four cases of whooping cough or pertussis at Bishop Manogue High School, with others considered likely.
The school is working with the Health District and has agreed to close the school by Monday, October 28, to protect the students and staff.
Whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory disease known for uncontrollable, violent coughing that makes breathing difficult.
"This outbreak is very serious and is designed to remind you and your family that they are up to date with the pertussis vaccine," said Kevin Dick, Washoe District Health Commissioner. "We value the diligence of the leadership of Bishop Manogue to make students and co-workers the number one priority. We will continue to work closely with the school until this matter is resolved.
The Health District sent a letter to Bishop Manogue's parents or guardians to alert them to exposure to whooping cough and recommendations. The school has already prepared its facilities for cleaning and has canceled / postponed all sporting and academic events.
Athletes participating in regional and state tournaments after the season have been granted a derogation if the following three conditions are met: Athletes should not show any signs or symptoms of pertussis, must be vaccinated and must undergo a prescription prescribed by a doctor become .
"Bishop Manogue takes reasonable precautions and works with the Washoe County Health District to protect our students and staff," said Bishop Manogue Director Brianne Thoreson. "We are committed to limiting exposure and minimizing the spread of this disease to ensure the safety of our school community."
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), pertussis can affect people of all ages, but it can be fatal for babies under the age of 1
Symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, fever, and a mild cough. Severe coughing fits can occur after a week or two.
The closure of the school is expected to reduce the transmission of the disease and the number of cases occurring. Bishop Manogue and the Health District will work closely together to monitor the symptoms of students and staff, as well as possible cases, and to assess whether further action is needed.
Special attention is paid to confirmed cases that are in time or may be in contact with infants. According to the CDC, more than half of children under the age of 1 who suffer from pertussis need to be hospitalized, and most of them are from siblings and parents. In the US, pertussis causes about 10 to 15 deaths each year.
If you are planning a DTap or Tdap vaccine or would like information about the cost, contact the Health District Immunization Program at 775-328-2402, your local doctor, or health care provider. More information about pertussis can be found on the WCHD website and on the CDC website.
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