Dear Parent or Guardian:

There have been several confirmed cases of Pertussis illness, commonly known as “Whooping
Cough” in Grant County. Sadly, one infant has died as a result of this infection. The illness is most
severe in children under one year of age.

Pertussis is very easily spread from person to person through coughing, sneezing or contact with
mucus from the nose and throat. Once infected and if not treated, a person with Pertussis can pass
the infection to others for 3-4 weeks.

Symptoms or signs of Pertussis include:


Anyone with a cough lasting longer than 7 days and any of the signs listed above should check with a
personal health care provider, health clinic or Grant County Health District. Everyone should
practice good illness prevention like frequent hand-washing, covering a cough and/or sneeze with
one’s arm and staying at home if ill.

The most effective way to prevent pertussis is by immunization with vaccines called DTaP for
children or Tdap for adolescents (11 years and older) and adults. The vaccine is available at Grant
County Health District and local personal healthcare providers or clinics.

For students in public schools, Washington State requires evidence of Pertussis (DTaP) vaccine for
entering kindergarten and Pre-School and (TdaP) vaccine for students in 6th grade through 8th grades.
The tetanus booster without pertussis will not protect students and does not meet state
requirements. Parents/guardians must sign a form at school if they choose to exempt their student
from vaccinations for medical or religious reasons. Call the school (632-5231) with questions.

Information about Pertussis is available from your healthcare provider, Grant County Health District
(509-754-6060 or 509-766-7960 or www.granthealth.org) and Washington Department of Health
website, http://www.doh.wa.gov/EHSPHL/factsheet/pertussis.htm.