272011Dec

Pertussis Case Confirmed in Alamance County Elementary School

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 27, 2011


BURLINGTON – The Alamance County Health Department (ACHD) has been working closely with the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) administration to make sure that parents and staff members of B. Everett Jordan are aware of the symptoms of pertussis (whooping cough) after being notified of a confirmed case on December 21, 2011.

Since the investigation began, ACHD has identified three children at B. Everett Jordan with laboratory confirmed Pertussis.  It was determined that the best approach was to provide prescription medication to all students and staff who work at B. Everett Jordan, to prevent the spread of pertussis.

The health department has already spoken with most families from B. Everett Jordan; however, if you have not heard from ACHD, please call (336) 516-7715. There are a large number of calls to this phone so please leave a message and know you will be called back.

Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a bacterial infection that often starts with typical cold symptoms (runny nose, low grade fever, and possibly cough) and over 1-2 weeks, usually develops into prolonged bursts of coughing, often with a whooping noise at the end. The person usually feels well between attacks. Some people with this infection may just have a cough that lasts a number of weeks. Parents should not be alarmed as this infection is rarely a cause of serious disease or hospitalization in school age children (or adults).

The health department and the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) have worked diligently to notify parents and affected staff. In addition, medical and health care providers in the community have been notified.

Due to the possibility that the infected individuals had direct contact with a segment of the school population, nearly all those potentially exposed have received preventative antibiotic treatment. Direct contact is defined as sitting or standing within three (3) feet for fifteen (15) or more minutes of the sick individual, during the period that they were able to transmit the infection.

If you believe your child may have been exposed, please call the Alamance County Health Department Communicable Disease Hotline at (336) 516-7715. If you are unable to reach a nurse on duty, please leave a message and your contact number. Your call will be returned promptly.