Hamilton County Schools located in Fishers are letting parents know of the recent whooping cough, or pertussis, outbreak.
Hamilton Southeastern confirmed the following seven cases so far:
- Two at Riverside Intermediate School
- One at Lantern Road Elementary
- Two at Brooks School Elementary
- One at Fishers Junior High School
- One at Hoosier Road Elementary
The schools are taking the appropriate actions to contain the disease to keep it from spreading.
PERTUSSIS (WHOOPING COUGH) FACTS:
- Symptoms generally begin 7-10 days after exposure
- First symptoms are common cold followed with a mild cough
- Coughs become more severe after one or two weeks
- Vomiting may occur following coughing spell
- Those infected may have trouble catching their breath
- Not everyone develops a “whoop” sound to their cough
- Children suspected to have pertussis may be prescribed antibiotics and the school will then require the child be isolated at home until they have taken the antibiotic for a full five days
- Any other household members with any suspected or confirmed cases of the disease should also take antibiotics
According to the Indiana State Department of Health:
- Pertussis is a contagious disease caused by Bordetella pertussis bacteria
- Often milder in older children and adults
- Undiagnosed persons can transmit the disease to infants and young children
- Can lead to pneumonia, seizures and sometimes death
- Most serious problems occur in infants younger than a year old
The initial symptoms of pertussis look more like a common cold. They are a slight fever, sneezing, runny nose, dry cough, loss of appetite and irritability. Later on, the symptoms increase. There is a potential for short coughing spells, a potential “whoop” noise to the cough, nose bleeds, vomiting and even a possible blusish color to the face. Eventually, the appetite will increase. Though getting rid of the cough can take several months. People are often infected through another’s sneezing or coughing who has the disease. To keep your children from getting pertussis, keep them up to date on their vaccinations, most importantly DTaP, or diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Older children and adults should also receive an updated dose of DTaP. Contact your doctor or the Hamilton County Health Department for information on the DTaP shot.