Monday, April 28, 2014

Health Alert

From the desk of Kathy Barry, District Nurse


Multiple Cases of Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

To date Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District has had five confirmed case of pertussis in three schools (PVPHS, PVHS and RIS).  Pertussis is spread through the air when people cough.  It often starts like a common cold which gets worse over 1-2 weeks.  People with pertussis have coughing spells that may last more than a few seconds.  As they catch their breath at the end of each coughing spell they gasp loudly ("whoop") and vomit or choke.  Pertussis is treated with an antibiotic. 

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has directed us to exclude students and staff that have not been immunized against pertussis, who have had close contact to a person with pertussis.  Exclusion from school is until they receive 5 days of antibiotics or exclusion up to 21 days if they choose not to take the antibiotic. 

The best way to protect against pertussis is to get vaccinated.  You are encouraged to make sure that you and your family members are immunized against pertussis.  Children younger than 7 years who have not received 5 doses of DTaP should be vaccinated.  Anyone 7 years and older who is not fully vaccinated should receive one dose of Tdap vaccine. 

Antibiotics and Tdap vaccine may be obtained from your health care provider.  The vaccine can be obtained at pharmacies.  The Los County Department of Public Health provides antibiotics and vaccine free of charge for the uninsured.  Torrance Health Center is located at 711 Del Amo Blvd, Torrance, 310-354-2300. 

Questions:  Contact me at 310-750-0564. 

Mrs. Gina Stutzel M.Ed
Principal, Soleado Elementary 
"A Place in the Sun"
(310)377-6854 ext.200 


Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified District

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