GLEN ALLEN, Va. — A possible case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, was reported at Springfield Park Elementary School in Glen Allen, according to an alert sent to parents.
“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 alert read. “In this case, preventive treatment is not recommended for all contacts at this time. However, individuals who have had a cough lasting more than two weeks or a severe cough with wheezing or vomiting lasting less than two weeks should be evaluated by their primary care provider.”
Pertussis is spread through sneezing and/or coughing.
“Although pertussis is usually not a life-threatening illness, it can be very serious in infants (less than one year of age) and in individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions,” the alert continued. “Pertussis can be treated successfully with antibiotics and can be prevented by age-appropriate vaccinations in children and adults.”
Symptoms can emerge seven to 21 days after exposure.
“Individuals without symptoms or with only mild cold-like symptoms do not need to be tested or treated at this time,” the alert concluded.