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Whooping Cough Case Reported at Whitnall High School

The city's health department issued a letter to parents telling them about the symptoms of pertussis and what to do if they suspect their child has it.

At least one case of whooping case, or pertussis, has been reported in a student at Whitnall High School, according to a letter issued by the Greenfield Health Department.

Pertussis is a highly contagious illness that is spread through the air by coughing. Symptoms generally appear 6-20 days after exposure. The illness begins with cold-like symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, tearing, conjunctivitis (red, watery eyes), and an increasingly persistent cough. Within 1-2 weeks the severity of the cough increases, may involve a high-pitched “whooping” sound and may result in vomiting.

Persons experiencing any of the above symptoms should avoid contact with infants.

In a letter posted on the district's website, the City of Greenfield Health Director Darren Rausch asks that if your child experiences these symptoms in the next 2-3 weeks, contact his or her health care provider. Parents are also asked to take the letter (see attached PDF) to the office and encourage their provider to collect a nasopharyngeal specimen for confirmation of the illness. Parents should inform the provider that there has been a confirmed case of pertussis identified at Whitnall High School.

Pertussis cases have been on the rise this year throughout the city.

Greenfield Health Department nurses are available to answer questions about pertussis. Call 414-329-5275 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays, or contact your health care provider.

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