Central students confirmed with pertussis

Whooping cough can be highly contagious

INDEPENDENCE – Two students at Central’s secondary schools have been confirmed to have pertussis, or whooping cough, the district announced Tuesday.

Pertussis is a highly contagious and potentially serious bacterial infection spread by coughing and sneezing, the release from the district stated.

The first stage of the infection begins like a cold with a runny nose, sneezing and sometimes a low-grade fever. The second stage includes uncontrolled coughing spells.

A person with pertussis is most infectious during the first week of these cold-like symptoms and the two weeks prior to the onset of a cough, according to the district’s statement.

Families are being asked to report any respiratory illness that happens within three weeks of possible exposure to their medical provider so children can be assessed and treated.

Those who do not have access to a health provider may contact the Central Health and Wellness Center: 503-838-0045.

For more information on pertussis: cdc.gov.

Polk County Health Department: 503-623-8175.

For more on this story, see the Sept. 27 Itemizer-Observer, or check back online.

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