12 December 2019 Bridget Crozier   | News | Whole School  
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A person who attends Homebush Boys has been diagnosed with whooping cough (pertussis). I am writing to provide you with information about this illness and ask that you watch for the symptoms, especially over the next three weeks.

Please Click Here for the informational letter.

If you or your child develops symptoms, please go to your local doctor as soon as possible and take this letter with you.

What is Pertussis?
Pertussis is an infection of the throat that often begins like a cold and cough. This can progress to bouts of coughing, and sometimes breathing difficulties and vomiting after coughing. It can be a very serious infection in small children, however older children and adults can also get pertussis and pass it on to others. People with pertussis are infectious for the first 3 weeks of their illness or until they have completed a 5 day course of the recommended antibiotics. The coughing can last between one and three months.

What should people sick with pertussis do?
To help prevent this infection spreading, people who have been diagnosed with pertussis should not attend school until they have completed a five day course of the recommended antibiotics. If antibiotics cannot be taken, then they must stay away for 3 weeks after the onset of cough.

How is it prevented?
Most children in Australia are immunised against pertussis as it is a standard childhood immunisation. However, immunity does decrease with time and in some people immunity to the disease is not guaranteed with vaccination. It is important to note that although your child may be immunised, they may still become infected. Please ensure that younger children at home are up to date with their whooping cough immunisations and adults who have not had a pertussis vaccination in the past ten years should see their local doctor to discuss getting a booster.

Need more information?
For more information, please see the NSW Health whooping cough website: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/whoopingcough/Pages/default.aspx ;
the attached whooping cough factsheet or contact the Sydney Local Health District Public Health Unit on 9515 9420.

Yours sincerely

Dr Leena Gupta
Director, Public Health
Sydney Local Health District PHU