Activities Postponed for Kittitas Secondary School Because of Whooping Cough - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Activities Postponed for Kittitas Secondary School Because of Whooping Cough

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KITTITAS COUNTY --  In response to the large number of Whooping Cough cases associated with Kittitas Secondary School, the Kittitas County Public Health Department is requiring postponement of all field trips and scheduled activities or events that include other schools, school districts, and/or family members of students.

The postponement will last between March 12 and April 1, 2009.

This precautionary measure will help prevent the spread of the illness to those outside of the Kittitas Secondary School community.

Whooping Cough can be very severe in children under one year old, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic respiratory disease.

Extracurricular activities that are comprised entirely of Kittitas Secondary School students and staff that are held at the school, such as sports practices, will not be affected.

Events including students from other schools will be postponed for all Kittitas Secondary School students, including those who do not have symptoms of illness. This includes sports events.

As of Thursday, March 12th, there have been 24 cases of Whooping Cough in Kittitas County; 21 of these cases have been Kittitas Secondary School students or staff members.

In addition to those who tested positive over 150 Kittitas County residents have been tested for Whooping Cough since the beginning of this outbreak; about 115 of these tests have been negative and about 35 tests are still pending. If you or a family member have any symptoms of Whooping Cough please avoid group activities such as work, school, church, and social events until you can be evaluated by a healthcare provider.

Symptoms of Whooping Cough include:

  • Cold-like symptoms, followed by a persistent cough. The persistent cough occurs in explosive bursts that may end in vomiting or gagging.
  • In adolescents and adults, Whooping Cough may cause only mild cold-like symptoms (runny nose, mild cough, low-grade fever, sneezing) or it may appear as repeated violent coughs followed by a high pitched "whoop" when inhaling. Sometimes the only symptom may be a persistent cough, often worse at night.
  • Between bursts of coughing, a patient may appear well.