Sensitive topic--Pertussis

  1. Anyone had to deal with this in their schools?

    It's my 1st year at an elementary school (1st year as school nurse at all) and my 2 boys come with. Last week all 3 of my kids had raging head lice (which is rampant in the school) and now this week a positive pertussis in my 4th graders class. I mentioned to my boss he's had a cough off and on and should i be concerned adn now it's escalated above her and hes excluded from school for 5 days of antibiotics or until a negative PCR comes back. Taking him to the doctor in about 30 mins to discuss. But he has been coughing for awhile and i had bronchitis supposedly and have had a cough myself for almost 2 months. Sorry this is rambly I'm just torn about him being out plus not getting a lot of direction for how to deal with the issue at the school level yet.
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    About ERschoolRN

    Joined: Nov '18; Posts: 18; Likes: 16

    35 Comments

  3. by   ERschoolRN
    Oh and I should add all kids involved are UTD on immunizations.
  4. by   OldDude
    Is your son being excluded from school or the student with positive pertussis in his class?
  5. by   Farawyn
    Call the DOH, Pertussis is reportable. They will advise you.
  6. by   ERschoolRN
    Both. The student got a positive result yesterday adn they just started 5 days of antibiotics so they are out until that is complete. They told me my son is excluded now until 5 days on antibiotic or a negatice PCR. I mentioned he had a cough at night and it got escalated quickly without talking to me about the facts. I've been sick for over 6 weeks with cough and multiple antibiotics etc. My child just seemed like he had a cold. Hacky cough at night...etc.
  7. by   SaltineQueen
    Your health department will advise you on necessary exclusions. I'm fairly certain your principal shouldn't be excluding kids willy-nilly for persistent coughs. Kids would be out all winter long. Coughs happen.

    Admin should absolutely NOT be insisting on unnecessary antibiotics or costly medical tests for what is, likely, a viral illness!!
  8. by   UrbanHealthRN
    Yeah, I can't see how your child would be excluded from school without a doctor's note saying what he has. Occasionally, when I'm super concerned about a child's symptoms, I will ask a family not to send the child back to school until a doctor's appointment happens and we get a diagnosis. But that's the most I will do.
  9. by   ruby_jane
    Trust me, once there is a lab-confirmed case of pertussis the health department will have a letter and instructions for you. And I echo what has been said - coughs happen, especially in the winter.

    It's not impossible for a kid who's in the 6th or 7th year of their DTaP protection to get pertussis. We know the acellular pertussis vaccine works less well than whole cell, but we also know there were more reactions with the whole cell so that stopped in the 70s. Hang in there.
  10. by   Farawyn
    Quote from ruby_jane
    Trust me, once there is a lab-confirmed case of pertussis the health department will have a letter and instructions for you. And I echo what has been said - coughs happen, especially in the winter.

    It's not impossible for a kid who's in the 6th or 7th year of their DTaP protection to get pertussis. We know the acellular pertussis vaccine works less well than whole cell, but we also know there were more reactions with the whole cell so that stopped in the 70s. Hang in there.
    A bunch of kids (and parents!) got it the Summer before they were due for their 6th grade immunizations.
  11. by   OldDude
    This doesn't make sense.
  12. by   OldDude
    Please keep us informed...
  13. by   ERschoolRN
    Quote from OldDude
    This doesn't make sense.
    I know. Technically he doesn't have the symptoms with an occasional cough which has gotten better. I don't even think he's coughed once today. But the director had her son test positive with only a cough at night years ago and i think that clouds her objectivity.
    They tested my son today and put him on antibiotics and he'll have to stay out until Monday.

    We sent a letter out to the whole grade today that only said if they have a severe cough they should stay out and go to the doctor. I guess my hand are tied. My concern is they wouldn't put my younger son on antibiotics who is in the grade below. They sleep in the same room.:-/ I'm just hoping since he has no symptoms that i would t have to repeat all this on the off chance my son is positive.

    Work wise though they are working with me so i do t have to eat all my paid time off which is amazing.
  14. by   halohg
    I feel like I'm missing something. Is this a boarding school?

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