Whooping Cough

Continued from page 1

is often worse at night and cough medicines usually do not help alleviate the cough.

Pertussis is treatable by antibiotics and parents are advised by the district that, if their child is coughing, to go to the family doctor and advise the practitioner that the child was exposed to someone with pertussis. “If parents have any questions or concerns, they should follow up with the family doctor,” Waite added.

Asked if pertussis has ever spread through Crestwood schools before, the superintendent said, “Not to my knowledge.” Waite has worked in the district for 14 years and has served for over eight years as Assistant to the Superintendent; he recently was appointed as acting Superintendent until the district could hire a replacement for the retired school director.

The district’s email goes on to state that, after five days of antibiotics, the infected child may return to school. All household members and other close contacts of an infected child should be treated with antibiotics.

“Making sure that children receive all their shots on time is the best way to control pertussis in the future,” the letter explains. The vaccine is usually given to babies in four doses leading up till 18 months of age with another dose given just before a child begins kindergarten. Children who’ve been vaccinated for pertussis still have a chance of contracting the illness, but it is usually less severe.