Whooping cough suspected at Highland Local Schools in Medina, Ohio

MEDINA, Ohio (WJW) — Probable cases of whooping cough are circulating in the Highlands Local School District, according to an advisory released Thursday by the district.

The out-of-school children who tested positive for whooping cough are siblings of students in the district, according to the notice.

The district is now directing parents to an information sheet about the illness and is urging parents whose students have symptoms of the illness to contact a doctor or the Medina County Health Department.

What is whooping cough?

Whooping cough, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by bacteria, according to information provided by the Ohio Department of Health.

Symptoms are initially similar to a cold and include sneezing, runny nose, mild fever and mild cough, according to the ODH. After two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and may manifest as a series of rapid coughs followed by a “high-pitched singing or squeal.” Coughing may produce thick, clear mucus.

A person who has contracted whooping cough is contagious for about three weeks after the coughing episodes begin. This can be reduced to five days with antibiotics, which can also ease symptoms.

Most cases occur in children under the age of 5, but the number of cases among adolescents and adults is increasing, “likely due to waning vaccine immunity,” according to ODH.

Young infants are most at risk for complications, which could include pneumonia or seizures, according to the ODH. Other less serious complications include ear infections, loss of appetite and dehydration.

Is there a whooping cough vaccine?

Vaccination is the best defense against whooping cough, according to the ODH.

There are two vaccines that prevent whooping cough, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine, or DTaP vaccine, given to children under 7 years old
  • The tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine, or TDaP vaccine, given to older children and adults

The first vaccine, which includes five doses, is recommended to be given between 2 months and 4 to 6 years of age, according to the CDC.

The second vaccination is recommended around the age of 11 or 12.

News Source :
Gn Health

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