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A Letter regarding Pertussis (whooping cough) at Taft Middle School

Dear Parents and Guardians of Children at Taft Middle School,


An individual at Taft Middle School has been diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). People who had close contact with the case could become sick in the next weeks. We’re sending you information so you know what to look for in case your child gets sick. For more information see the fact sheet included with this letter.


General information:

  • Not everyone who has a cough has pertussis. There are many other illnesses that cause a cough.
  • Pertussis requires close contact with an infected person in order to spread.
  • It can cause severe illness in infants, and usually milder disease in older children, adolescents and adults.
  • People exposed to pertussis cannot pass it on to others unless they become sick themselves.


What you should do if your child becomes sick:

If your child becomes sick with a runny nose or a cough illness, you should:

  • Keep your child at home and avoid close contact with others.
  • Remind your child to cover his/her mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Contact your child’s health care provider.  If you do not have a regular health care provider, go to a hospital emergency room or urgent care clinic. 
  • Tell your child’s health care provider about this letter or take it with you.


What everyone should do, even if your child isn’t sick:

  • Be sure your children are up-to-date with pertussis vaccinations.
  • There is also a pertussis vaccine recommended for older children and adults..
  • Wash hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
  • If you have a baby, keep the baby away from people that are sick.


If you do not have a medical provider or have other questions, you can contact the Nurse Epidemiologists at the Stanford Public Health Office at 505-841-4100 or Infectious Disease Epidemiology in Santa Fe at: 505-827-0006.


Naomi Kistin, MD, Regional Health Officer         Julianna Ferreira, MSN, MPH, RN, Nurse