November 23, 2018, 8:30 p.m.
A confirmed case of pertussis was identified at Massey High School.
The Windsor-Essex County Health Unit sent a letter to parents, guardians and students on Friday warning that whooping cough is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection caused by a bacteria that causes severe cough.
The health unit said that whooping cough starts with cold-like symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, low fever and occasional mild cough, and usually lasts for one to two weeks, then worsens with several coughing outbreaks that can stop the breath , eating and sleeping and is commonly followed by gagging, vomiting and exhaustion. Health officials have added that coughing can be followed by high-pitched high-pitched sounds or "screaming" sounds when people struggle to breathe. They said that the fever is absent or minimal and the cough can last for several weeks or maybe months.
Infected people can spread the bacteria in the air when they cough, sneeze or talk, and it can be transmitted to other people for up to 20 days from the onset of symptoms. The health unit added that the disease could affect people of any age, but it is more dangerous for infants and young children. Residents should be immunized to eliminate the risk of becoming ill.
Health officials have said that you should contact your doctor if you or your child have experienced contact with whooping cough and have developed respiratory symptoms.
If you have any questions or concerns, call the health facility at 519-258-2146 ext. 1420 during business hours or visit www.wechu.org.