Parents alerted to possible whooping cough case at Henrico school

Parents alerted to possible whooping cough case at Henrico school

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Students at Springfield Park Elementary School may have been exposed to pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

A letter was sent home to parents on Tuesday warning them of the possible case.

Pertussis is a respiratory illness caused by bacteria that impacts people of all ages and causes severe coughing.

"It is spread through the air in droplets produced during sneezing and/or coughing," the letter said. "Although pertussis is usually not a life-threatening illness, it can be very serious in infants and in individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions."

The school system says the "Virginia Department of Health recommends that parents of children and individuals who may have been in close contact with the case be notified. Recommendations for preventive treatment of close contacts vary with each case, dependent upon duration and severity of illness."

The letter says that people who have had a cough for more than two weeks, or a severe cough with wheezing or vomiting for more than two weeks, should go see a doctor.

Parents are asked to monitor for symptoms until May 20 since symptoms can show up several weeks after exposure.

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