Whooping Cough case worries some Chesterfield parents

Posted at 3:29 PM, Mar 08, 2012
and last updated 2012-03-08 15:30:51-05

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) – Some Chesterfield parents are worried their children may have been exposed to Whooping Cough, but health officials said that is unlikely.

In fact, about 100 Manchester Middle School students were sent home with a letter telling them about a case of the illnesses at the school on March 1.

However, hundreds of other children also attend the school. That left some parents wondering why all parents were not notified.

Health officials told CBS 6’s Wayne Covil that as soon as a student was diagnosed with Whooping Cough at Manchester Middle School, that administrators crafted a letter to send home to parents.

“You know, I like to think they don’t want to alarm too many people about this and they looked at who the sick child was in contact with and took the appropriate measures,” said Robert Jones, whose son attends the school.

Chesterfield Health Department Director Dr. Parham Jaberi said that is exactly what administrators did.

“If a child is just passing another in the hallway, we don’t consider that adequate time for exposure, to be at risk,” said Jaberi .

Additionally, no other cases of Whooping Cough have been reported since the letter was sent home.

“Why is a kid in school with Whooping Cough,” said Jones. “You’re supposed to be immunized against that, and immunizations aren’t always work, but did they check this kids immunization record?  Were they up to date?”

While Jaberi cannot talk about specifics, he said that the vaccine is not always 100 percent effective, so  those who are vaccinated can still get the disease.

The doctor also said many adults who are exposed to children could benefit from a booster shot.

Since the first case was discovered, health officials said there have been no other cases of Whooping Cough inside Manchester Middle School.

Officials said if no other students have symptoms by Sunday, then the school would be in the clear.