Whooping cough case confirmed at Canon-Mac High School

April 20, 2017

Canon-McMillan School District officials notified parents Thursday of a case of pertussis – commonly known as whooping cough – at the high school.

Principal David Helinski and school nurse Terry Green told parents the single case detected was “considered an isolated incident as there are no other reports in the high school.”

Helinski and Green said in their letter, sent by email to district parents Thursday, the state Department of Health is handling the case. Additional details, including when the case was detected, were unclear from the letter.

Helinski didn’t return a phone call.

Pertussis is a treatable bacterial disase that can lead to pneumonia, according to a Department of Health fact sheet the district sent out with its letter.

April Hutcheson, press secretary for the state Department of Health, said because of privacy laws, the department does not confirm cases of whooping cough unless there is an outbreak.

In general, the department recommends that people who have been exposed and who start to display symptoms contact their physician. The Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis vaccine prevents whooping cough. Those at the most risk are babies who have not been vaccinated and the elderly, who may not have had the recommended booster.

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