Manor ISD says that there has been a confirmed case of pertussis, or whooping cough, at Manor High School. Officials sent a letter to parents warning them that their children may have been exposed.
Pertussis is an infection that affects the airways and is easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. It is a severe cough that can last for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting.
Anyone can get pertussis, but it can be very dangerous for babies and people with weakened immune systems. Family members with pertussis, especially brothers and sisters, as well as mothers and fathers, can spread pertussis to babies.
Officials are urging parents to make sure that their family's vaccinations are up to date.
Experts say protection against pertussis from the childhood vaccine, DTaP, decreases over time. They advise older children and adults, including pregnant women, to get a pertussis booster shot called Tdap to help protect themselves and babies near or around them.
Manor ISD issued the following recommendations in a letter to parents:
1. If your child has a cough:
- Keep your child home from school and activities, such as sports or play groups. See items 4 and 5 about when your child can return to these activities. Be sure to take the child to your physician.
2. If a doctor has told your child that he/she has a weakened immune system, ask your child’s doctor to prescribe antibiotics to your child as soon as possible to prevent pertussis.
3. If your child lives with any of the following people and may have been exposed to pertussis, ask your child’s doctor to prescribe antibiotics as soon as possible to your child, even if he or she is not coughing:
- A woman who is pregnant
- A baby younger than 12 months old
- Anyone with a weakened immune system
4. If your child has been diagnosed with pertussis by his or her doctor:
- Tell the school that your child has been diagnosed with pertussis.
- School officials may request that you keep your child home from school and activities, such as sports or play groups, until your child has been on antibiotics for five days to treat pertussis.
- Ask your child’s doctor for a note that states your child has pertussis.
You can read the full letter sent to parents here.