California schools such as Everett Middle School in the Mission are working on protocols for children as a consequence of California’s largest outbreak of whooping cough in 50 years.
The Department of Public Health has stated it an epidemic and a serious disease.
In June of 2010, California declared an epidemic after the number of cases rose. There have been more than 50 cases in San Francisco this year, according to an August report from the California Department of Public Health.
Whooping cough is scientifically know as pertussis. It is a respiratory disease and it imitates the symptoms of the common cold. Whooping cough is very dangerous and highly contagious as a result. If left untreated, it can easily lead to death. It’s very important to pay attention to the signals of the disease and it is not painful. Symptoms include nasal congestion and a distinct cough that sounds like a hiccup, with the patient gasping for air.
Children can be required to stay home from school if they are not up-to-date on vaccinations when there is a high risk of contracting a disease like pertussis, according to a memo from the Department of Public Health.
If you think that because of health care fees or insurance issues that your children don’t qualify, there are options. Children in the state of California are covered by a program called Vaccines for Children (VFC). Thanks to VFC, parents can register their children to get vaccines, physicals and other exams. In San Francisco County, no documentation is required. Vaccines are free for children.
If you have a child in the public school system or any child for that matter, it’s very important to make sure that they are protected. The disease is too easily spread not to.