CCSD officials are monitoring pertussis (whooping cough) cases in Otsego County

| December 15, 2017
Cooperstown Central School District administration and our school nurses continually monitor health concerns in the region.

Recently, Oneonta High School parents were notified that the Oneonta City School District has confirmed cases of pertussis (whooping cough) at their high school. Those cases were reported to the Otsego County Health Department.

While there are no confirmed cases of pertussis at Cooperstown CSD, the district is monitoring the situation at Oneonta closely because of the ties between the two communities. In addition, state health officials are reporting that flu cases are on the rise throughout the state and are at levels greater than what were seen at this time last year.

Pertussis is an infection that infects the airways and can be spread by coughing or sneezing. More information about pertussis is available at https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2171/ and https://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2171/ 

If your child has a cough, they should not attend school, work, or public activities and they should see a healthcare provider.
If your child has a weakened immune system or has a condition that would be worsened by pertussis and has been in close contact to someone with pertussis, ask your healthcare provider to consider prescribing antibiotics to your child as soon as possible to prevent pertussis.  Antibiotics are recommended for exposed persons with certain underlying conditions even if they are not coughing.
If your child lives with any of the following people and was exposed to pertussis, ask your healthcare provider to prescribe antibiotics for your child as soon as possible, even if your child is not coughing:
  •       A woman who is pregnant
  •       A baby younger than 12 months old
  •       Anyone with a weakened immune system or a pre-existing health condition that could become worse if they became infected with pertussis (e.g. asthma, chronic lung disease)
If your child has been diagnosed with pertussis by his or her doctor:
  •       Inform the school that your child has been diagnosed with pertussis
  •       Your child should not attend school and public activities until they have been on an antibiotic effective to treat pertussis for five days
More information about pertussis is also available from the Otsego County Department of Health at 607.547.4343. 

Flu Cases Growing in Upstate New York

Influenza, commonly called the flu, is a contagious viral infection of the nose, throat and lungs that causes illness, hospital stays and deaths in the United States each year.

 

The flu can be very dangerous for children. Each year, about 20,000 children younger than five years old are hospitalized from flu complications, such as pneumonia. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend everyone six months and older receive a flu vaccine each year.

There are many different strains of the influenza virus and they are constantly changing. Each season’s flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during that season. Flu vaccines are made using strict safety and production measures and have been given to millions in the United States with a very good safety record, the CDC says.

Most experts believe that flu viruses spread mainly by droplets made when those infected with the virus cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. Less often, a person might get the flu by touching something that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.

The flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills, fatigue and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. However, some people with the flu will not have a fever.

Flu Symptoms

Symptoms usually start one to four days after the virus enters the body. That means the flu can be passed on before those who have it even know they are sick.

Most adults can infect others before symptoms develop and up to five to seven days after becoming sick. Children can pass on the virus for up to seven days after symptoms develop. Some people can be infected with the flu virus but have no symptoms. However, those people can still spread the virus to others.

Washing hands with soap and water (for as long as it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice) will help protect against many germs, especially after coughing or sneezing. Proper hand-washing should be promoted before meals, after recess or physical education and at other appropriate times.

Children should be taught to cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, or to cough into their sleeves, not their hands. Also to avoid spreading germs, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

If children contract the flu, they should stay home to rest and to avoid spreading the virus to other children or caregivers. They should stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine. A fever is defined as 100°F (37.8°C) or higher.

Treatment of the Flu

Parents of children who are five years of age and older and don’t have other health problems should consult their doctor as needed if their child gets the flu. Most important is to be sure the child gets plenty of rest and drinks enough fluids.

Parents of children younger than five years of age—and especially younger than two—or of any age with a long-term health condition, such as asthma or diabetes, are at risk for serious complications from the flu and should consult their doctors.

Call for emergency care or visit a doctor right away if your child of any age exhibits any of the following:

  • Fast breathing or trouble breathing
  • Bluish or gray skin color
  • Not drinking enough fluids (not going to the bathroom or making as much urine as he or she normally does)
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Not waking up or not interacting
  • Being so irritable that the child does not want to be held
  • Flu-like symptoms improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

Antiviral drugs can be prescribed to treat the flu. They can make people feel better and return to health sooner. Medication also can prevent serious flu complications that could lead to hospitalization and even death.

Medication to treat the flu works best when started during the first two days of illness, especially for people who are at greater risk of having serious flu complications. These drugs can be given to children, but parents should talk with their doctors about whether particular flu medicines are appropriate for their children.

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