Two Centralia High School students had confirmed cases of whooping cough, but both have received treatment and are no longer contagious.
Lewis County Public Health and Social Services sent a letter to parents dated Nov. 13 that it received notifications of two confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough. Public Health and Social Services director Danette York said that the agency has not received recent whooping cough reports from any of the other school districts in Lewis County.
”As far as I know, that’s the only two we have, but because it’s contagious we notify the schools and the providers to watch for it,” York said.
Whooping cough is highly contagious. People who are infected with the pertussis bacteria usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing when they are in close contact with others. Whooping cough starts with cold-like symptoms.
According to Public Health and Social Services, there is a vaccine for children and adults to help prevent the illness. The vaccine for children is called DTaP and protects against pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus.
“Because protection from the pertussis vaccine starts to wear off after five to ten years, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a booster for adolescents and adults,” the letter from Public Health and Social Services reads. “The vaccine booster, called Tdap should be given to youth at age 11 or 12 years. Adults who did not receive Tdap as a pre-teen or teenager should get a dose of Tdap. Pregnant women should consult with their provider about receiving Tdap during pregnancy.”