Three more whooping cough cases confirmed
Two students and one staff member at Souderton Area High School have been diagnosed with laboratoryconfirmed pertussis, according to information released Monday morning by district officials.
Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease, according to information sent to parents throughout the district.
All three people have started the appropriate medical treatment, according to Frank Gallagher, the district’s assistant superintendent and director of pupil services.
Gallagher also said each is following the rules for returning to school as determined by the district and the Montgomery County Health Department.
Frank Custer, a spokesman for Montgomery County, did not return an email message Monday morning.
Children with pertussis, if their medical condition allows, may return to school and activities five days after starting the appropriate antibiotics, according to the message. It states that they must continue taking the antibiotics until completed.
All household members and close contacts of a pertussis case should receive preventative antibiotics regardless of their age or vaccination status, according to the same message.
Citing privacy laws, Gallagher declined to disclose if the infected staff member is a teacher at the high school. He also chose not to speak about where or how the three acquired the virus that causes whooping cough.
The disease features an uncontrollable, violent cough that makes it hard
to breathe. After coughiQg fiWV, D SHUVRQ FDQ WKHQ struggle to breathe and emit a characteristic “whooping” sound, according to information from the Montgomery County Health Department.
In September, three students at the school were diagnosed with whooping cough.
The three 15-year-old students are all friends and “hung around with each other this summer,” Custer said last month.
In September, Custer emphasized that they contracted the pertussis infection in the community, not the school. Those who were in contact with them were given preventative treatment, Custer said.
All three students had prior vaccinations for pertussis, Custer said. However, the vaccination does not always provide 100 percent protection. What it does do is lessen the severity of the illness so patients don’t have to be hospitalized.