USD 418 sends out message on pertussis Thursday

By Nick Gosnell
December 04, 2014

McPherson USD 418 Associate Superintendent Chris Ruder sent out another telephone message to USD 418 parents Thursday night regarding the pertussis situation in McPherson.

Ruder said, "A growing number of cases of pertussis have been reported in the USD 418 McPherson schools.

School nurses will continue to directly contact parents of any student considered to be at risk of contracting pertussis, based on each child's proximity to the infected students.

Investigation, notification and treatment efforts are proceeding in all cases.

USD 418 and the McPherson County Health Department will continue to monitor the situation and advise parents of at-risk students if new cases are reported.

USD 418 is taking diligent school disinfection measures. Staff and students are being encouraged to practice good hygiene, to prevent the spread of all respiratory diseases.

Testing and treatment for pertussis is usually done by a family medicine provider. There is a vaccine to prevent pertussis. Traditionally, children complete the DTap series at school entry age and do not receive a booster containing the pertussis vaccine again until seventh grade.

The McPherson County Health Department has worked with officials at the Kansas Immunization Program to acquire Tdap vaccine to be used in response to the pertussis outbreak in McPherson County.

Vaccination of pregnant women during each pregnancy and close contacts or caregivers of newborns and infants under 6 months with Tdap vaccine is also encouraged.

All required childhood immunizations and many adult immunizations are available at the McPherson County Health Department. To check your child's immunization status, call the McPherson County Health Department or your doctor's office. A fact sheet with further information can be found on the USD 418 website at"