Confirmed Case of Pertussis in Ashland School District

Update September 14, 2017

JCHAn Urgent Public Health Activity Report Within Jackson County
Pertussis Outbreak in Ashland Schools

Jackson County Public Health is responding to a pertussis outbreak in the Ashland Schools. Currently, there are other pertussis outbreaks throughout the United States (Montana, Michigan, and Alabama), and Canada.
 
To control further spread of pertussis Oregon state law requires exposed children under vaccinated for pertussis to be excluded from school for 21 days after the last day of possible exposure. Jackson County Public Health is requesting that exposed children who have not been vaccinated, or are under vaccinated against pertussis, not return back to school for 21 days. If the child receives a vaccine against pertussis immediately they may return to school. Although receiving the vaccine may not prevent the child from becoming ill with symptoms of pertussis if already exposed, it can convey protection from future exposures.
 
Regardless of vaccination status, children with symptoms must stay home from school until appropriately treated and no longer contagious. Jackson County Public Health recommends that parents/guardians contact their child’s healthcare provider for a pertussis PCR test and for possible treatment.
 
Vulnerable Populations
Infants are at greatest risk for getting pertussis and then having serious complications from it, including death. About half of infants younger than 1 year old who get pertussis need care in the hospital, and 1 out of 100 infants who get treatment in the hospital die. It is important that pregnant women and everyone that will be around the infant including, parents, siblings, grandparents, and babysitter be up to date with the age- appropriate vaccine. It is also critical to make sure healthcare providers are up to date with one-time Tdap booster does, especially those who care for babies.
 
Symptoms
After being exposed to pertussis, the first cold-like symptoms appear in about 10 days (1-3 weeks). These symptoms include a runny nose, low grade-fever, mild cough and apena in infants. After a week or two, the ‘cold’ goes away, but the cough becomes more pronounced with coughing spells that can trigger a gag reflex, vomiting, and take your breath away.  Sometimes a ‘whoop’ is heard as the person gasps for air.
 
Vaccination
Dtap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis) vaccine  is available for children under 7 yrs of age, and Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis) vaccine is now available for older kids and adults (ages 10-64 yrs). Tdap can also be given to 7-10 year olds who are not fully immunized against Pertussis.
 
To reduce the risk of pertussis in new mothers and their young babies, Centers for DiseaseControl and Prevention recommends that pregnant women receive Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy. The recommended time to get the shot is the 27th through 36th week of pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. During outbreaks, prevention efforts should focus on improving rates of Tdap vaccination among pregnant women to reduce serious illness and possible deaths in vulnerable babies.
 
Treatment
Most pertussis in adults and adolescents is neither diagnosed nor reported and antibiotic prophylaxis does not control the transmission of pertussis when it is widespread in the community. The effort to provide antibiotic prophylaxis for pertussis must focus on infants <1 year of age since serious complications and death are limited to this group. Recommend prompt antibiotic prophylaxis within 21 days of exposure for close contacts of confirmed, presumptive, and suspect cases who are:
  • Infants
  • Pregnant women in the 3rd trimester (since they will soon have contact with an infant)
  • All household contacts of a case if there is an infant or a pregnant woman in the 3rd trimester in the household, even if the infant in the household is the case
  • All those attending or working in a childcare setting (i.e., same room) of a case if there is an infant or one of those same third trimester women in the setting
To help prevent the spread of this disease, medical providers should encourage their patient and patient’s family to:
  • Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Practice frequent hand-washing
  • Avoid sharing cups, drinks, etc
  • Make sure everyone is up-to-date with their vaccines
Jackson County Health & Human September 14, 2017 Services Flash Report - Pertussis Outberak and Proveider Guidance.

The mission of Jackson County Health and Human Services is to plan, coordinate and provide public services that protect and promote the health and well-being of county residents.

Contact Us
Communicable Disease Reporting at JCPH:
541-774-8045
 After Hours: 541-618-4651
 
Jackson County Public Health Website
 
Jackson County Health & Human Services
Jim Shames Medical Director 541-774-7885
shamesjg@jacksoncou nty.org
 

September 13, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,
 
Employees and students may have had contact with a person with confirmed pertussis during the first 2 weeks of school. Pertussis, also called “Whooping Cough”, is a disease caused by a bacteria.  It can cause serious complications, especially for infants under one year of age, pregnant women, and those who are immune compromised. Pertussis affects not only the individual with the disease but can be easily transmitted person to person throughout the community.
 
After being exposed to pertussis, the first cold-like symptoms appear in about 10 days
(1-3 weeks).  After a week or two, the ‘cold’ goes away, but the cough becomes more pronounced with coughing spells that can trigger a gag reflex, vomiting, and take your breath away.  Sometimes a ‘whoop’ is heard as the person gasps for air.
 
Pertussis can be prevented by vaccination.  Dtap (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis) vaccine  is available for children under 7 yrs of age, and Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis) vaccine  is now available for older kids and adults (ages 10-64 yrs). Tdap can also be given to 7-10 year olds who are not fully immunized against Pertussis. (https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/index.html)
 
Regardless of vaccination status, children with symptoms (see above) must stay home from school until appropriately treated and no longer contagious.  Contact your health-care provider for a pertussis PCR test and for possible treatment.  If treatment is recommended, it takes 5 days of antibiotics before the child is no longer contagious and may return back to school.
 
To help prevent the spread of this disease, please encourage your family members to:
  • Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
  • Practice frequent hand-washing
  • Avoid sharing cups, drinks, etc
  • Make sure everyone is up-to-date with their vaccines
Vaccines are available at Jackson County Health and Human Services at 140 S Holly Street in Medford,
Monday- Friday from 8:30-4:00 pm daily.  No appointment is necessary.  In addition, you may want to check with your own health care provider as many of them have Dtap and Tdap vaccine. 
 
If you have any additional questions about whooping cough or possible exposure, you may call your own physician or the Health Department at 541-774-8045.

Jackson County Health  and Ashland Schood District Joint Statement





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