For the second time this week, the Butler County Health Department emailed Lakota parents, alerting them that a student had been diagnosed with Pertussis, which is more commonly known as whooping cough.
On Tuesday, the email, which was also sent out in a letter, said a student from Lakota West High School had been diagnosed with the disease. Then on Thursday, the email alerted parents of a student at Endeavor Elementary.
Below is the actual email sent Thursday:
A child who attends Endeavor Elementary School has been diagnosed with Pertussis (Whooping Cough). We were informed that your child may have been exposed to this child in the classroom.
Pertussis is a communicable disease that can be spread from person to person, among those in close contact with one another. A close contact is anyone who has had face-to-face contact with the child or shared a confined space for a prolonged period of time. This would also include anyone that has had direct contact with respiratory, oral, or nasal secretions (coughing, sneezing, or sharing food/eating utensils).
Even if symptoms are not present, the health department recommends that close contacts see their healthcare provider and start antibiotics. This is recommended even if they have already received the shot to protect against Pertussis. All close contacts should also be up to date with the necessary shots, which can be given by a physician or the health department.
Pertussis is very concerning for infants under 12 months of age. If you are pregnant, or if you, or your child have contact with infants less than 12 months of age, please call your healthcare provider to discuss whether an antibiotic is needed for prevention of Pertussis.
A fact sheet with additional information regarding Pertussis is included with this letter. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact your healthcare provider, or the Butler County Health Department Nursing Division.
Sandena Bickers, RN, BSN
Public Health Nurse
Butler County Health Department
On Tuesday, the Butler County Health Department confirmed that there have been 28 reported cases of Pertussis this year and 29 cases in 2011. Overall, in the state of Ohio, there were 698 cases in 2011 after 1,858 cases were reported in 2010, according to the Ohio Department of Health.
For more information on Pertussis, visit www.cdc.gov/pertussis.