Beech Grove, Mooresville schools see whooping cough

(WISH Photo/Howard Monroe)
(WISH Photo/Howard Monroe)

BEECH GROVE, Ind. (WISH) — Beech Grove City Schools is warning parents after a student at Central Elementary was diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

The alert comes after a case of pertussis at Northwood Elementary in Mooresville. That school sent out a notification to parents on Tuesday.

Beech Grove Assistant Superintendent Thomas Keeley said Wednesday the student from Central Elementary is now at home. He does not believe other students are at risk. Still, the district is sending home a notice Wednesday with students and has also used social media and other methods to notify parents.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pertussis is a respiratory illness spread from person-to-person, often through sneezing or coughing near others. Symptoms often take seven to 10 days to develop. Those symptoms are similar to a cold with a mild cough or fever. After a week or two, severe coughing and even coughing fits begin. There are vaccines available for infants, children and adults to help prevent against pertussis.

The Indiana State Department of Health says there has not been a whooping cough death in the Indiana since 2010. That year two deaths were reported.

Pertussis cases per year in Indiana:

  • 2008: 271
  • 2009: 392
  • 2010: 744
  • 2011: 367
  • 2012: 441
  • 2013: 621
  • 2014: 231 (so far)

For more on pertussis, read this fact sheet provided by the Indiana State Department of Health.

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