Summerside Intermediate School sent a notice home with students warning of possible exposure to pertussis
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Summerside Intermediate School sent a notice home with students warning of possible exposure to pertussis.
Summerside Intermediate School recently sent a notice home with students warning of possible exposure to pertussis, a contagious infection of the lungs and airways more commonly known as whooping cough.
Parents and guardians were informed that students and they themselves may have been exposed to a case of whooping cough during school.
The letter provided information on how to recognize the illness and outlined the precautions that should be taken.
According to Health Canada, pertussis is caused by a bacteria, bordetella pertussis, which is found in the mouth, nose and throat of an infected person.
The disease is spread when a person who is ill sneezes, releasing the germ into the air where other persons breathe it in, or onto articles that people may touch.
Early symptoms include sneezing, runny nose, low fever and a mild, irritating, dry cough, similar to those of a common cold.
Over a period of a week, the cough gets more intense and often leads to a whoop or crowing sound when the affected person tries to catch a breath.
The cough can last up to two months and happens more at night.
People who have pertussis can spread the germs to others for up to three weeks after the coughing spells start.
Most children and school-age students are immunized against pertussis.