Eight students across both the middle and upper school campuses were diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, Community Health Officer Milo Sini said in an email Dec. 18. The school notified only the parents of students who share classes or activities with those infected. This is the second consecutive year the highly contagious respiratory disease has affected members of the school community.
According to the Mayo Clinic, pertussis can lead to hospitalization or death in extreme cases. Symptoms are similar to common colds and can appear anywhere from five days to three weeks after exposure.
While the school requires that all students receive the immunization, the vaccination is only effective in eight or nine out of 10 recipients, Sini said.
“In order to safeguard our community and minimize the number of people affected, we want to remind [parents], that whenever your child has a medical issue, especially one that is known to be contagious, it is essential you inform the school immediately,” Sini said. “This needs to be followed up with a doctor’s note with instruction and clearance. When deemed necessary, the school will take the appropriate steps to keep the community informed.”