UPDATE: Whooping Cough Identified at Bristow-Area Schools

| June 15, 2017 | 1 Comment | News

Marsteller Middle School

UPDATE: June 15 at 9:30 p.m. 

Throughout spring, there have been reports of whooping cough at Prince William County Schools on the western end of the county.

Monday, the principal of Patriot High School in Nokesville announced the school had at least one case of whooping cough.

Friday, the principal of Marsteller Middle School in Bristow also announced that a student attending her school has a confirmed case of whooping cough.

Stonewall Jackson High School sent a similar message to parents, June 6.

And, According to Irene Cromer, Supervisor of Community Relations, for Prince William County Schools, there were two cases reported at Battlefield High School in May.

Although public schools in Prince William have recessed Thursday for summer vacation, residents should be advised that the illness exists within the community. The bacterial illness can be more serious for infants under the age of one and those with compromised immune systems.

The following is the announcement shared on the Marsteller Middle School website.

Dear Parents/Guardians and Staff:

We have been advised that a Marsteller MS student recently attended school despite having a confirmed case of pertussis (whooping cough). While there is no reason for alarm, the information that follows can help to identify and avoid risks to vulnerable individuals.

Pertussis is a bacterial, respiratory illness characterized by severe coughing. It affects people of all ages, and is spread through the air by droplets from sneezing and coughing.

Pertussis is usually not life-threatening, but can be very serious for infants (less than one year of age) and individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions. Please consult your physician, if concerned about an individual in these categories. Otherwise, the Prince William Health District is not advising that students or staff be treated for this possible exposure.

Most students of high school age have received all required pertussis vaccines. Still, it is wise to watch for signs and symptoms of pertussis. Individuals with a cough lasting more than two weeks, or shorter duration, but increasing in severity, should be evaluated by their primary care provider.

You may choose to bring this letter to your health care provider and request a nasopharyngeal swab test for pertussis.

Pertussis can be treated successfully with antibiotics, and can be prevented by age-appropriate vaccinations in children and adults. Please consult your doctor or Prince William Health District for any questions or concerns.

We hope the information provided is both useful and reassuring. We are committed to working together to safeguard the continued health of our students, staff, and families.

Sincerely, Roberta Knetter Principal

Phil Kavits, Director of Communications said there is no indication that the three cases are in anyway related. He reminds readers there are 90,000 students attending Prince William County Schools.

Comments from Phil Kavits were not in the original article, but updated June 15 at 4:40 p.m. PWCS has since confirmed that there were also two cases at Battlefield High School. 

© 2017, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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  1. Pendragon says:

    Can one get whooping cough twice? I had it as a baby.

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