Whooping cough reported at Kettering elementary school

One elementary student in Kettering City Schools has a confirmed case of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

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Orchard Park Elementary School sent a letter Friday to parents notifying them of the whooping cough diagnosis.

Also, at the recommendation of Public Health - Dayton & Montgomery County, the district provided information about the disease, symptoms and how to reduce its spread.

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Whooping cough is a potentially life-threatening childhood illness that all but disappeared in the 1940s after a vaccine was developed. In recent decades, the illness has made a comeback, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pertussis is spread through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes.

The illness begins with cold symptoms (runny nose, mild cough, low-grade fever, sneezing). Within several days, the cough becomes more severe and can be characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs, followed by a crowing or high pitched “whoop.”

People diagnosed with pertussis must remain at home for at least five days after beginning antibiotics to reduce the risk of spreading the illness.

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While most elementary students have been fully vaccinated against pertussis, the T-dap vaccine is available, the district said.

Anyone whose child or someone else in the family shows symptoms of whooping cough is urged contact a physician. For more information about the vaccine, booster or the disease, call the health department at 937-225-4508.

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