Pertussis situation upgraded to outbreak
Two additional children with connections to a confirmed case of pertussis and who are showing symptoms of the illness have been identified as probable cases, prompting local health officials to label the situation an outbreak. The children, ages six, seven and eight, attend Wiggin Street Elementary in Gambier and ride to and from school together.
The clinical definition of a school outbreak for pertussis is defined as “two or more cases clustered in time and space where transmission is suspected to have occurred in that setting,” according to Adam Masters, epidemiologist for the Knox County Health Department. “Since the students have been in close proximity to one another and are exhibiting the same symptoms, it’s likely they received the illness from the same source or one another,” said Masters.
Last Thursday, school officials notified Wiggin Street parents of the confirmed case. The notice listed the symptoms of pertussis and recommended the Tdap vaccine for those students who have not been immunized. Health department staff said several families were in Friday to receive the vaccine. The health department is closed today due to the Columbus Day holiday, but will be open the remainder of the week for anyone needing the vaccine. Appointments are recommended and can be made by calling 740-399-8008. (click here to read more)