If you haven't heard already there has been a household outbreak of pertussis (Whooping cough) in West Auckland. This disease is highly contagious and appropriate measures should be followed to reduce the risk of contracting the Pertussis (Whooping cough). To assess risk the level of contact with the disease is the best indicator.
High-priority close contacts are:
- Anyone under the age of 5 years and unimmunised or partially immunised.
- Someone with chronic disease.
- In the last trimester of pregnancy; or who have daily contact with a high priority contact and poses a transmission risk.
- Close contacts who are symptomatic should be tested within 2 weeks of symptom onset. Discuss with your local doctor or attend emergency departments such as white cross (Lincoln Road) or Waitakere Hospital.
Prophylaxis with antibiotics is recommended if the contact is a high-priority close contact.
Symptoms of pertussis:
The symptoms of whooping cough usually appear around a week after infection. This delay is known as the incubation period.
The first signs of whooping cough are like a cold, with a blocked or runny nose, sneezing, a mild fever and persistent spasms of coughing, often followed by a 'whoop'. This is when you’re most infectious.
After about a week:
Someone will experience uncontrollable coughing fits that last for a few minutes and are worse at night, may make a ‘whoop’ sound when gasping for breath between coughing fits and / or may bring up a thick mucus that can make you vomit or choke.
If you would like further information or would like to discuss this further please contact me (school nurse) either by phone or email. Otherwise there is useful information provided from the Ministry of Health.
Our school nurse: Joe Auimatagi is also available on : 0212401980