Whooping Cough Hits Pickens Co. Schools - WSPA.com

Whooping Cough Hits Pickens Co. Schools

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Pickens County schools sent letters to parents at two schools over the weekend, warning them of possible pertussis cases. Pickens County schools sent letters to parents at two schools over the weekend, warning them of possible pertussis cases.
PICKENS COUNTY, S.C. - Pickens County schools sent letters to parents at two schools, warning them of possible pertussis cases.

John Eby with the school district tells us they have a confirmed case of whooping cough, or Pertusis, at West End Elementary, and a suspected case at Forest Acres.

Letters sent to the parents read, in part, "Please check your child's backpack for the information. In the meantime, if your child has had a cough that has become progressively worse over a period of weeks, has uncontrolled coughing spells with a whooping nose, or during severe coughing spells they gag, vomit or have trouble breathing, you should contact your physician immediately."

District leaders also remind parents it is possible for a vaccinated child to contract the illness; one that starts much like the common cold, according to Dr. Perry Earle.

"So, you have the upper respiratory cough, congestion, runny nose, maybe some low grade fever, but nothing really unusual," said Earle.

But, the Children's Clinic pediatrician says a lingering cough more than 8-10 days can mean something much more serious.

"It's real intense coughing episodes that are so much that the patient tends to lose their breath. Sometimes ends upvomitingg, even holding their breath or having some bluish color to their face," he said.

Earle says pertussis is most deadly for children under the age of one. Vaccinations for whooping cough commonly start at two months, with the final vaccination at 4 years of age. Because the vaccine is not 100% preventative and the disease is highly contagious, Dr. Earle says families with young children should consider being re-vaccinated or boostered. Most importantly, those with symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.

Last fall, many upstate school districts, like Greenville, Spartanburg and Anderson counties, required all 7th grade students to receive the "t-dap" vaccine in order to keep attending classes. It stands for tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis.

You can find the vaccine at your local health department or through your doctor.




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