There has been a confirmed case of pertussis, or “whooping cough,” diagnosed for a student living in the Residence Hall. The student has been treated and the appropriate preventive care has been given to those in closest contact with this individual.
Pertussis is a highly contagious illness caused by a bacterium that lives in the mouth, nose, and throat of an infected person. It is spread to others through coughing or sneezing. Pertussis has a common incubation period of six to twenty days before actual symptoms start to show. Pertussis has been around in the Northwest and Coeur d’Alene for many years and often goes undiagnosed. Infants are most at-risk for serious consequences from this disease.
Early symptoms of pertussis include a runny nose, scratchy throat, mild cough, watery eyes, no fever, or a very low-grade fever. Late symptoms of pertussis may include a cough that increases in intensity and duration. A spasmodic cough may develop. This kind of cough may cause a person to lose breath and induce vomiting.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that people get a tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis (Tdap) immunization once after the age of 14 to provide additional protection against pertussis. Contact a healthcare provider to schedule an immunization appointment. In addition to good respiratory hygiene, handwashing, and staying home when ill, the Tdap immunization contributes to individual health and the health of the community.