ROCHESTER, Minn. - Confirmed cases of whooping cough have been identified in students at Rochester's Mayo High School.
In a letter, the parents were told the following:
"Your child is considered to have had an exposure. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is recommending that your child be tested for pertussis if your child develops a cough lasting 7 or more days. Please contact your healthcare provider regarding the above recommendation," the letter stated.
"It is important that you be aware of the signs and symptoms of pertussis. Pertussis often begins with symptoms similar to the early stages of the common cold - runny nose, possible low-grade fever, and a mild cough. After a week or two, a persistent cough develops. The cough occurs in bursts and may end with a high-pitched whooping sound and sometimes vomiting. Between bursts of coughing, the person appears well. Coughing attacks may continue for 4 to 6 weeks and are more common at night. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, particularly in infants.
Because of the nature of this close transmission setting, we may also ask for your child to stay home until test results are back if your child is symptomatic."
Rochester Public Schools gave KIMT the following statement: "Mayo High School sent a letter home to families and to staff, as recommended by Olmsted County Public Health Services. That letter is attached. The letter educates parents and students on preventative measures and what to do once your child develops a cough lasting 7 or more days. It is our daily practice is to track our students’ illness symptoms and absences and report necessary information to OCPHS. We also practice healthy habits, such as hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough, and so on. We remind parents, guardians, staff, and students they should refrain from coming to school or work when they are sick and only return to school or work once they are fever-free for 24 hours."