NU student has whooping cough |

NU student has whooping cough

A Nevada Union High School student has been diagnosed with whooping cough, prompting the Nevada County Health Department to issue a warning.

The bacterial disease – which can be treated with antibiotics – is usually mild in high school-age students and adults, but has a high death rate in infants.

Health officials fear the disease could spread to young children. A high percentage of Nevada County parents do not get their young children immunized for the disease, which still causes about 600,000 deaths annually worldwide.

According to a survey done in 2000 by the state Department of Health Services, Nevada County had the highest percentage in the state – 6 percent – of kindergarten students who enter school without all the required immunizations under the “personal beliefs” exemption.

The first symptoms of whooping cough, also known as pertussis, are like those of a common cold: a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever and a mild cough.

After a week or two, a persistent cough develops in explosive bursts, sometimes ending with a high-pitched whoop and vomiting.

Between bursts of coughing, the child appears to be well.

“If your child develops any of the above symptoms in the next 14 days, keep him or her at home and call your physician,” the letter advises.

For more info:

— Nevada Union High School’s nurses advise parents with concerns about whooping cough to contact their doctor or the Nevada County Health Department at 265-1450.

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