Ashland, Ore. – the Ashland School District is alerting the public to a confirmed case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, in the district.
In a letter addressed to parents, the district said employees and students may have had contact with a person with pertussis during the first two weeks of school.
Officials did not specify which school in the district was affected.
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.’”
To prevent the spread, family members are encouraged to do the following:
- Cover their mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Practice frequent hand-washing
- Avoid sharing cups, drinks, etc
- Make sure everyone is up-to-date with their vaccines
The disease can be prevented by vaccination.
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.
The District said regardless of vaccination status, students with symptoms of pertussis “must stay home from school until appropriately treated and no longer contagious.”
According to the Ashland School District, “Vaccines are available at Jackson County Health and Human Services at 140 S Holly Street in Medford, Monday- Friday from 8:30-4:00 pm daily. No appointment is necessary.”