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Carmel High School sends letter to parents, warns of whooping cough at school

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CARMEL (March 2, 2015) – Carmel High School is dealing with a case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

A letter sent to parents Monday outlined symptoms of the illness and said “some students and staff may have been exposed either in the classroom or on the bus.”

Symptoms include those similar to the common cold as well as a low fever. The cough will get progressively worse over the next week or two, and those infected will develop coughing fits.

Here’s the letter sent to parents:

Dear Carmel High School Parents,

A case of pertussis (whooping cough) has been identified in Carmel High School and some students and staff may have been exposed either in the classroom or on the bus. We want you to be alert for the symptoms of pertussis listed below should they occur in your child.

The first symptoms of pertussis are similar to the common cold. Your child may also have a low fever. After a week or two, the cough will become worse. Your child may develop coughing fits, or spasms, followed by vomiting or trouble catching a breath. Sometimes, younger children will have a “whoop” sound after a coughing fit.

Although your child may appear healthy in between coughing fits, please do NOT send your child to school if he or she has any of the signs and symptoms of pertussis. If you think your child may have pertussis, call your child’s doctor immediately so your child can be treated. If your child comes to school with these symptoms, you will be called to take your child home and will need to take him/her to a doctor to be checked for pertussis.

If your child has symptoms of pertussis, please take this letter to your child’s doctor as a source of reference.

Keeping your child up-to-date with pertussis vaccine helps prevent disease, but the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has identified cases of pertussis in children who have received all their pertussis shots. Check to make sure all members of your family have been fully vaccinated against pertussis. Your physician or local health department should be able to help you to determine if vaccination is needed for any in your family.

You can find more information about whooping cough on the ISDH Website: http://www.in.gov/isdh/files/2012QuickFact_Pertussis.pdf.

Sincerely,

Dr. Steven A. Dillon
Director of Student Services
Carmel Clay Schools