Two Cases of Pertussis

Two Confirmed Cases of Pertussis at the Secondary Levels
Posted on 09/19/2017
Two Confirmed Cases of Pertussis at the Secondary Levels

It has come to our attention that two (2) students have been confirmed to have pertussis (whooping cough) at the secondary levels.  Pertussis is a highly contagious and potentially serious bacterial infection that is spread by coughing and sneezing. 

The symptoms of pertussis usually occur in two stages. 

  • The first stage begins like a cold, with a runny nose, sneezing, and sometimes a low-grade fever. 
  • The second stage of pertussis includes uncontrolled coughing spells. 

A person with pertussis is most infectious during the first week of these cold-like symptoms and the two weeks prior to the onset of a cough.  Because of this relatively mild but infectious first week, infected persons can spread pertussis to others without knowing it.

It is recommended that families report any respiratory illness that occurs within three weeks of possible exposure to your child’s medical provider so that they can be appropriately assessed and treated.  If you suspect that you or a family member has pertussis call your health care provider.   Pertussis is especially dangerous to infants, pregnant women, and under-immunized children. Please check your child’s immunization status.   If your child has not received the vaccine for pertussis or you are unsure about your child’s vaccination status, please contact your medical provider.  If you do not have access to a health provider, you can contact the Central Health and Wellness Center at (503) 838-0045.

More information on pertussis (whooping cough) can be found at the following Centers for Disease Control and Prevent link.

Contact information for the Polk County Health Department:


Phone:  (503) 623-8175