Kermit ISD Superintendent Reporting Confirmed Case of Whooping Cough

Kermit ISD Letter to Parents:

A case of pertussis, also called "whooping cough" has been reported in our school.   Pertussis is caused by bacteria infecting the mouth, nose, and throat.  It is spread through the air by cough.  Pertussis is usually mild in older children and adults, but often causes serious problems in babies less than 1 year of age.

Pertussis resembles a cold: runny nose, sneezing, mild fever and a cough that slowly gets worse. A cough that lasts several weeks may be the only symptom in adults and teens.  After one or two weeks, an infected person may develop "coughing fits" which may last six weeks or longer.  Usually, there is no fever. After coughing, infected persons may vomit, have difficulty catching their breath, or become blue in the face from lack of air.  The cough is often worse at night, and cough medicines usually do not help.  Between coughing spells, an infected person may not appear sick.  Adults, teens, and vaccinated children often have milder symptoms that mimic bronchitis or asthma.  In some cases babies may develop apnea (failure to breathe). If a cough persists for more than two weeks, consult your doctor.

As per Texas State Law, students at Kermit ISO have been vaccinated against Pertussis.  The vaccine is a requirement for entry into Kindergarten and 7th grade.

Please consider the following recommendations:

1)   If your child comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, talk to your child's doctor.  Tell the doctor that pertussis has been reported in your child's school.  Report suspected pertussis infections to the school nurse or health department.

2)   Pertussis can be dangerous  for babies.  Pertussis can cause breathing problems (apnea), pneumonia, and swelling of the brain (encephalopathy),  which can lead to seizures and brain damage.  Pertussis can also cause death (rarely), especially in babies. Any baby with a coughing illness should be seen by their  doctor as soon as possible.

3)   Doctors recommend that children get vaccinated at age 2, 4 6, and 15 to 18 months, with an additional dose at four to six years of age, for a total of five doses. Since vaccination wanes over time, an additional dose is recommended  for person's aged 7-18 years.

Should you have any questions or concerns please contact:

Mr. Bill Boyd, Superintendent at 432-586-1000 or your student's school nurse:   
KHS - ReMona Cherry, RN 432-586-1050;
KJHS- Frances Kurie, LVN 432-586-1040;
Kermit Elem- Joanne Berzoza, LVN 432-586-1020.