PORTLAND, Ore. — A case of whooping cough has been confirmed at Grant High School in Portland, health officials say.
Jennifer Vines, deputy health officer for the Multnomah County Health Department, sent a letter to inform parents on Wednesday.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC says whooping cough is generally treated with antibiotics, although some cases can lead to hospitalization.
In the letter sent to students, Vines wrote that "the illness usually begins with cold-like symptoms, such as a runny nose or an irritating cough. The cough can become severe, with violent episodes of coughing, and can last for weeks to months. Sometimes there can be a 'whooping' sound in young children, and some people vomit after coughing. Usually, there is no fever."
From the CDC: How to detect and treat whooping cough
Vines offered the following instructions for those who have cold symptoms and a worsening cough of at least a week:
- Do not go to school, work and other activities until seen by a healthcare provider.
- Avoid contact with children under 1 year of age and pregnant women.
- Call your healthcare provider. Please let the provider know about the exposure to whooping cough by mentioning this letter.
- If you or your child have symptoms, or you have other questions and concerns, please call the Metropolitan Area Pertussis Surveillance program at 503-988-8846.