DALLAS – Dallas School District has notified parents that a LaCreole Middle School student has a confirmed case of pertussis, or whooping cough.
A letter was sent to parents Tuesday afternoon about the case of the highly contagious and possibly serious bacterial infection.
“There have been several cases in our community recently and would like you to be aware,” the letter read.
According to the letter, pertussis bacteria live in the nose, mouth and throat and are spread by coughing and sneezing. Pertussis often has cold-like symptoms at first, including a mild cough. Eventually that develops into a severe cough that may cause gagging or vomiting.
Symptoms usually develop between seven to 10 days after exposure, but could take up to 21 days to begin.
Those possibly exposed are encouraged to report any respiratory illness that occurs within three weeks, receive early testing for coughs lasting more than a week, and cover coughs and wash your hands to prevent spread of the infection. Parents are also asked to check immunization records for their children to make sure they are up to date.
For more information contact: Polk County Public Health, 503-623-8175; Dallas School District nurse, 503-623-8351; or your health care provider.