Health officials advising parents to monitor text message, social media activity




BURLINGTON – The Alamance County Health Department is still investigating a suspected case of pertussis at Western Alamance Middle School.

As of 4:30 P.M. Friday, health department staff have made contact with approximately 95% of affected parents and staff members.

During the course of the investigation, health department officials have learned that there are students posting information about their health status, which may or may not be accurate, as well as the condition of others via text message, Facebook, and Twitter.  Parents are strongly advised to monitor texting and social media activity to limit the spread of inaccurate information that may affect the investigation.

Lab results for the suspected case are still pending and are expected after the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday.

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.

If your child develops the symptoms described above (runny nose, cough, etc), please take your child to their doctor for an evaluation.  This is particularly true if your child has symptoms that begin before February 1, 2012.

For additional information or specific questions, 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 as soon as possible.