Steamboat Springs School District alerts parents to case of whooping cough

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— The Steamboat Springs School District is alerting parents to its first confirmed case of whooping cough in at least 22 years.

In an email to parents, district officials said a student recently was diagnosed with the contagious respiratory condition, also known as pertussis, and is expected to make a full recovery.

In a news release, the district's top nurse Dot Haberlan wrote that “Pertussis begins with a cough that progressively becomes more severe until the person develops coughing fits. In between coughing fits, the individual may look and feel fine. Vomiting, breathlessness, a change in facial color and/or a whooping sound may follow the coughing fits.”

Haberlan added that the condition can be severe in infants and young children.

“I would say if (their children) have a persistent cough, and if they are acutely ill, they need to contact their health care provider,” Haberlan said.

She said parents should confirm whether their children have been immunized against the condition.

The district advised parents who have any questions or concerns to contact their health care provider or the Public Health Department at the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association at 970-879-1632.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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