GENESEO – Geneseo schools released a statement on Wednesday assuring parents that they are being kept as up to date as possible on the active and thorough investigation into possible exposure of students and staff to pertussis, or whooping cough, in Geneseo’s middle and high school.
According to a statement sent to parents, the school is graciously partnering with the Livingston County Department of Health and will give parents as accurate and up-to-date information as possible.
“I understand that many of our families learned about the pertussis case through the media news or social media,” said GCS in Wednesday’s statement to parents. “We will work hard to stay ahead of these sources with accurate and up-to-date information as we move forward with this issue and any future issues that require broad distribution of information.”
On Monday, GCS confirmed that an individual at the school has been diagnosed with Pertussis or ‘Whooping Cough.’
On Tuesday, the Livingston County Department of Health suggested some basic precautions to protect kids and parents from infection.
The complete letter sent to parents is as follows:
An individual in our Middle/High School has been diagnosed with Pertussis (whooping cough). An investigation by the Livingston County Department of Health is in process, and close contacts will or have been notified by the Department of Health.
Pertussis is an acute bacterial disease involving the respiratory tract. It is primarily spread by direct contact with discharges from the nose and throat of infected individuals. Pertussis begins as a mild upper respiratory infection, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. Within two weeks the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs, followed by a crowing or high-pitched whoop. Older adults and particularly immunized children generally have milder symptoms, and may be unrecognized as ill, but can still transmit pertussis during this time. The diagnosis of pertussis in young infants is often delayed because its onset of coryza (runny nose) with little or no fever or cough is deceptively mild. These symptoms are followed by coughing spells, often unrecognized, that may lead to difficulty breathing and seizures. The characteristic whoop of pertussis is absent in very young babies.
The Livingston County Department of Health recommends that you consult with your physician if you or anyone in your family develops a persistent cough, or upper respiratory illness such as asthma, bronchitis or a cold lasting longer than two (2) weeks. The Department of Health further recommends anyone with pertussis should not attend work, school, childcare or any public gathering until they have received at least five (5) days of antibiotics. If your physician tells you that your school-aged child has pertussis, please alert our school nurse at (585) 243-3450.
Vaccination is the most effective way of reducing pertussis in our community. Please be sure that your children are up to date with their pertussis immunization.
The Department of Health will be working closely with our school and area physicians to safeguard the health of your children. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call the Department of Health at (585) 243-7299 and ask to speak with a member of the communicable disease team or our School Health office at (585)-243- 3450 extension 2226.
We appreciate the guidance and information put together by the Livingston County Department of Health. Special thanks to Kathy Root and Jennifer Rodriquez for giving us the resources to share with families.