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Whooping Cough Strikes Three Lakes Schools

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A case of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough has been confirmed at Three Lakes Elementary School and the Oneida County Health Department says precautions should be taken to limit the spread. Nurse Rob Deede has more details...

Pertussis can begin with cold-like symptoms, the progress in a week to explosive coughing that could last weeks, and develop a cough that sounds like a 'whoop'. It gets so bad you have trouble breathing in between coughs. Deede says head to the doctor as soon as possible for testing and treatment. Deede says to prevent the spread of the illness cover your cough, wash your hands and stay home when you are sick. He also says stay up to date with family pertussis vaccinations. People with vaccinations are likely to have milder symptoms than those persons unvaccinated. Contact your county health department if you have questions.

The press release is below.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE DATE: 5/3/17

FROM: Rob Deede, Registered Nurse, Oneida County Health Department

The Northwoods Health Care Community Works Together to Prevent the Spread of Whooping Cough!

Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) is working closely with the Three Lakes School District, Wisconsin Department Health Services, and community health care providers to prevent the spread of pertussis (whooping cough). OCHD, in collaboration with partners, has identified 4 lab confirmed cases of pertussis at Three Lakes Elementary School.

OCHD asks the community to help prevent the spread of whooping cough by: knowing what the signs and symptoms are, encouraging people who may have pertussis to contact their doctor, and being up to date on your immunizations.

Individuals with Pertussis May: · Begin with cold-like symptoms: a runny nose, possible low-grade fever, and a mild cough · After 1-2 weeks of illness, have explosive coughing spells that can interrupt breathing and sleeping · Make sounds as they struggle to inhale air (hence the name "whooping cough") · Vomit from coughing · Experience severe coughing spells for several weeks or months · Vaccinated individuals symptoms may be milder and without the typical “whoop”

Please monitor for the development of a cough illness. If you, or your family, develop symptoms described in this letter, the OCHD recommends that you contact your doctor for testing and treatment.

To prevent the spread of illness ? Cover your cough. Wash hands often. Stay home when sick. Ensure that you and your family are up-to-date on pertussis vaccinations. Please check with your doctor or the OCHD regarding your family’s vaccination status and to see if anyone is due for additional vaccinations.

If you have questions, please call the OCHD at 715-369-6111. Thank you for your help in preventing the spread of communicable disease.

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