10 21 2014

Precautions Taken After Pertussis Case Reported

One case of pertussis, also called “whooping cough,” has been reported in a student attending classes in the Van Independent School District.
The VISD was notified recently by officials with the Northeast Texas Public Health District regarding this case. The student attends Van Middle School.
Parents of students at the campus received a notification letter on Oct. 8, explaining the diagnosis as well as recommendations for treatment and prevention.
The Van Independent School District is taking every precaution to prevent the spread of this infection. Classrooms and school buses are sanitized daily.
Parents and guardians of students at the affected campus will receive instructions concerning prevention. The safety and health of the students educated in our schools is our top priority.
“We are taking this situation very seriously,” VISD Superintendent Don Dunn said. “Our number one concern is the health and welfare of our children.
“We will continue to keep parents informed and educated concerning pertussis. Our staff is taking extra steps to clean and sterilize classrooms, bathrooms and water fountains,” he added.
Pertussis is caused by bacteria infecting the mouth, nose, and throat. It is spread through the air by coughing/sneezing.
Pertussis is usually mild in older children and adults, but often causes serious problems including death in babies less than one year of age.
According to the Smith County Health Authority, the best way to prevent Pertussis (whooping cough) among infants, children, teens, and adults is to get vaccinated.
Many young children get whooping cough from adults or older brothers or sisters who don’t know they have the disease.
NET Health encourages parents to make sure that not only their children are vaccinated, but that adults also receive their Tdap vaccination.
The Van ISD is working closely with officials at the Northeast Texas Public Health District. If parents or guardians seek possible treatment for pertussis, they should tell the child’s doctor that pertussis has been reported in the school district.
Please report possible pertussis infections to the school nurse and the Northeast Texas Public Health District at (903) 510-5604.
For more information on Pertussis, DTaP and Tdap vaccinations, please visit the NET Health website at www.healthyeasttx.org.

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