COOS BAY, Ore. -- Coos County Public Health is advising parents in two Coos Bay schools that their child may have been exposed to Pertussis.
Students at Millicoma Intermediate School and Blossom Gultch Elementary School were reported to have been infected with the illness.
Health Authorities have reported four cases between the two schools.
Pertussis, better known as Whooping Cough, is not fatal in immunized children.
County health officials say there is a concern that it could be passed on to a younger sibling, in which the risk of fatality increases.
Officials are asking parents to keep children at home who show early symptoms such as a mild cold with an occasional cough.
It is a legal requirement for doctors to report Pertussis cases to a public health department.
The best way to safeguard against the disease is to get yourself and your children vaccinated, authorities say.
>>>If you received notice that your child may have been exposed, click here
Coos County Public Health Department confirms there have been 4 cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough) in children attending Millicoma and Blossom Gulch schools.
Pertussis is a contagious respiratory infection spread by droplets produced from a cough or sneeze. Early symptoms may appear as a mild cold with an occasional cough. The disease then progresses to severe coughing fits, often with a characteristic whoop or followed by vomiting. Pertussis usually does not produce a fever. The period between exposure to when an individual begins to have symptoms is usually 7-10 days but can last as long as 21 days.
Parents are advised to keep children at home who show these early symptoms and to contact their children's health care provider for further guidance. If a child is diagnosed with Pertussis, antibiotic medication is needed to treat the disease and prevent further spread.
Public Health recommends that all Millicoma students 10 years and older, their family members, and staff who have not already received the Pertussis booster shot (called Tdap) get one as soon as possible. Tdap vaccination is especially important for those individuals who will be around infants or pregnant women.
At this time, Public Health recommends that Blossom Gulch students, as well as students at other schools in the area, become up-to-date with any needed vaccinations. This is also an opportunity for adults who have not received a Tdap booster (since it became available in 2005) to obtain one, as adult immunity appears to wane approximately 5-10 years since the date of the last pertussis vaccination.
Currently Coos County Public Health has a program that is providing the Tdap vaccination at a reduced cost for children and adults. Contact Coos County Public Health Department at 541.751.2419 for more information.
Tdap vaccinations are also available at:
- North Bend Medical Center Pediatrics
- Bay Clinic Pediatrics
- Waterfall Community Health Center or School-Based Health Center at Marshfield High School campus
Everyone should remember to cover their coughs and sneezes, dispose of used tissues in the wastebasket, and
wash their hands afterwards. These simple steps can help minimize the spread of infection for Pertussis as well as
other respiratory-spread diseases such as seasonal flu.
For more information, contact Lena Hawtin, Communicable Disease Coordinator at 541.751.2419