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Whooping Cough

August 2010


Health Update:  Whooping Cough (also called pertussis)

Epidemic & Tdap Vaccine Availability



Dear Parents and/or Guardians of Mountain Empire Unified School District Students:


School’s back in session and you’re already busy juggling new schedules.  But did you know there’s a whooping cough (also called pertussis) epidemic in California?  Whooping cough can cause a violent cough at any age and can kill young babies.


Know how to protect yourself against whooping cough andseek medical care promptly if you or anyone in your family might have whooping cough.  Whooping cough starts out like a common cold, and is often followed within days by severe coughing spells (young babies may not cough and disease can be milder in older children and adults).  The disease can spread easily at school or home.


Fortunately, there’s a vaccine to protect your children and family against whooping cough.  You and your child may have been immunized between infancy and kindergarten. However, this protection wears off over time. A booster shot is recommended for all children and adults 10 years of age and older to help prevent getting whooping cough, especially if there is a new baby at home now or coming soon.Talk with your doctor about getting immunized!


Whooping cough vaccines have been proven to be safe and effective. The most common side-effect is soreness at the injection site.


If you don’t have health insurance, ask your local health department about the Vaccines for Children Program. This program provides free vaccines to children 18 years of age and younger. 


Other vaccines recommended for your student. Protect against:

Kindergarten or older: Influenza – vaccinate each fall or winter; and Chickenpox

                        6th grade or older: Meningitis, Cervical Cancer [HPV]



A message from your school nurse, the California School Nurses Organization, and

The California Department of Public Health.


California School Nurses Organization

1225 8th Ave. Suite 500
Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph: (916) 448-5752
Fax: (916) 448-5767