January 25, 2016
I am writing to inform you that there are a couple of suspected, non-confirmed cases of pertussis (also known as whooping cough) in the Region 10 Schools.
District nurses have been in contact with the Connecticut Department of Health. At this time, there are no specific recommendations for children in our schools.
The purpose of this letter is to provide information to parents, guardians and staff regarding the signs and symptoms of pertussis. If your child has symptoms or develops symptoms compatible with pertussis, it is important to contact your child's health care provider. It is also a good idea to make sure your child is up to date on his or her vaccines to protect against pertussis.
Please refer to the attached Pertussis Fact Sheet for information about the symptoms, transmission and treatment of pertussis.
If you wish further information, please call your healthcare provider or the Connecticut Immunization Program at (860) 509-7929.
Superintendent of Schools
What is pertussis? Pertussis (also called whooping cough) is a disease caused by bacteria that spreads from person to person with close contact. Pertussis is often mild in older children and adults, but can cause serious problems in infants.
Who gets pertussis? Pertussis is most common among adolescent and adults who have lost the protection they got from childhood vaccines. Infants are also likely to get the disease since they are often too young to have the full protection from the vaccine.
What are the symptoms? Pertussis is a cough illness whose symptoms can range from mild to severe. It usually begins with cold-like symptoms, a runny nose, sneezing, and cough. The cough lasts for a week or two, and then slowly gets worse. As the cough gets worse the characteristic symptom is a burst, or paroxysm, of numerous, rapid coughs. At the end of the cough paroxysm, the patient can suffer from a long inhaling effort that is characterized by a high-pitched whoop (hence the name, "whooping cough"). These typical symptoms are more common in infants and young children. Between coughing spells, the person may appear to be well and usually there is no fever. Cough due to pertussis may last 3 months or longer. Vaccinated children, teens and adults may have milder symptoms.
How is pertussis spread? The germs that cause pertussis live in the nose, mouth and throat and are sprayed when an infected person sneezes or coughs into the air. Other people can then inhale the germs in the droplets produced by the person with pertussis. The illness can also be spread by sharing food or kissing someone with the disease. The first symptoms usually appear 7 to 10 days after a person is exposed, although sometimes people do not get sick for up to 21 days after their last contact with someone who has pertussis.
How is pertussis diagnosed? A doctor may think a patient has pertussis based on their symptoms; however, a laboratory test is the only way to be sure. A culture may be taken by swab from the back of the nose if the patient has been coughing for two weeks or less.
How is pertussis treated? Pertussis is treated with antibiotics and patients are advised to take all prescribed medication and avoid close contact with others, particularly small infants and children. After five days of treatment a person is no longer contagious. However, many people who are treated with antibiotics will continue to cough even after treatment due to the inflammation caused by the infection. Even people who continue to cough after taking antibiotics are no longer contagious after 5 days of taking an appropriate antibiotic as directed.
How can pertussis be prevented?
Although DTP or DTaP vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis) usually provides adequate protection against pertussis, the effects of the vaccine wear off over time, leaving most teens and adults at risk of the disease. However, a vaccine for teens and adults, called Tdap, is now recommended to give protection against pertussis. Tdap is given as a single “booster” dose starting at age 11 or 12. Antibiotics are sometimes given to help prevent illness in close contacts (usually in the same household) of someone with pertussis.
What should I do? If your child has any symptoms of pertussis, particularly cough, please contact your healthcare provider and bring this advisory with you, as your healthcare provider may decide to test your child for pertussis, and might prescribe antibiotic treatment.
If your child is in the same household or spends significant time with an infant, a pregnant woman in her third trimester, or an immunocompromised individual, antibiotics may be considered for your child even if she/he does not have any symptoms in order to protect those people that are considered “high risk” for pertussis. Contact your health care provider regarding this issue.
More information on pertussis can be found at: http://www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4212.pdf
or http://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/ or by calling the Department of Public Health Immunization Program at (860) 509-7929.
The "last" day of school is "scheduled" to be Friday, June 10, 2016 assuming no snow days.
Dear Friends and Colleagues:
I am thrilled to be able to welcome you to Regional School District #10's web page.
Region 10 schools are extremely proud of long heritage and tradition of quality educational opportunities for all students and now with our interactive web page we are better able to serve all stakeholders.
Please take some time to explore the four (4) individual school web pages as well as this, the Region 10 Home Page.
You can access each school by clicking the "Select a School" drop down found at the top left of this page.
Superintendent of Schools