Ashland, Ore. – Local health officials are currently monitoring a “pertussis outbreak” in the Ashland School District.
Now, Jackson County Public Health is “requesting that exposed children who have not been vaccinated, or who are under-vaccinated against pertussis, not return back to school for 21 days.”
Oregon state law requires exposed, under-vaccinated children be excluded from school for 21 days after the last day of possible exposure.
If a student receives a pertussis vaccination, they will be allowed to return to school.
Children with symptoms of pertussis should stay home until they’re no longer contagious, regardless of vaccination status.
The Mayo Clinic describes whooping cough as “a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it’s marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like ‘whoop.’”
As of mid-February last school year, 77.6% of students enrolled in the district had their DTap(Diphtheria, Tetanus, Acellular Pertussis)/Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Acellular Pertussis) vaccine.
26.7% of students were exempted from vaccinations.
Vaccines will be made available with no appointment necessary at Jackson County Health and Human Services at 140 S Holly Street in Medford.