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Parkway Informed of Pertussis Outbreak

Following is the text of a letter sent to all parents by Lisa Harnacker, Manager of Health Services for the Parkway School District: The St. Louis County Department of Health has notified us that there have been several outbreaks of pertussis (whooping cough) in Missouri this year. Recently, pertussis has been confirmed in several children in schools and day care centers in St. Louis County. Pertussis is a serious childhood disease that can be prevented through immunization, early detection of illness, treatment and preventative medication. Please be aware that older children and adults with pertussis may not have the classic symptoms and therefore frequently go undiagnosed. The efficacy of pertussis vaccine after 3 doses is about 80%; protection is greater against severe disease and begins to wane after about 3 years. The health department has recommended that you consult your physician if your child develops a cough illness. Please check to see that your child is adequately immunized against pertussis. Please read the Fact Sheet on the reverse side of this letter for details concerning immunization, symptoms and treatment. If you have any questions about pertussis you may contact your physician or the St. Louis County Health Department at (314) 615-1630.