Spokane schools try to slow whooping cough epidemic

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by COLE HEATH & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 12, 2012 at 5:33 PM

SPOKANE, Wash.-- Washington students just returned to school as the state deal with a whooping cough epidemic, providing a chance for the condition to spread.

Health officials report about 4,000 cases statewide. Most of them are among school-age children.

Administrators across the Spokane district are keeping a close eye on their kids. So far, four cases of pertussis have been reported in that district. That’s compared to zero cases at this point last school year.

Moyer says about 12 cases were reported across the district over all of last year.

Teachers and staff are working to contain whooping cough. Awareness is a large part of this effort, according to Health Services Coordinator of the Spokane School District Laurie Moyer.

“The big struggle is getting the word out and making sure the parents are educated,” she said. “They need to be looking out for those flu like symptoms [and] that chronic cough.”

The state recommends vaccinated children. Moyer, along with local officials, adds stopping pertussis goes beyond school children.

“Parents really need to check in and see when they were vaccinated last. Adults need to be vaccinated.”

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