2/27/15: Health Alert

By | 2015-02-27

There is a probable case of Pertussis (whooping cough) on our campus. You may have been exposed to this highly contagious disease that causes severe coughing.  Because no vaccine is 100% protective, even immunized persons can become ill with Pertussis, but the symptoms are usually milder.

Pertussis is spread through the air when an ill person coughs or sneezes.  In adults, Pertussis symptoms include aggravating coughing attacks that last for two weeks or longer and may be accompanied by vomiting, gagging, and sticky mucus production.  These attacks may worsen at night.  Between the coughing attacks, the person may feel well and have no symptoms.

If you show symptoms of Pertussis:

  1. Consult the Wellness Center or your healthcare provider and let them know you may have been exposed to someone ill with Pertussis.  This disease is treated with specific antibiotics.
  2. Notify the Wellness Center if your doctor suspects that you are ill with Pertussis.  You will be given instructions regarding class attendance.

To help protect against getting ill from Pertussis:

  1. Check with your doctor to see if you are up to date with the appropriate number of Tdap (adolescent and adult) vaccine doses.
  2. Wash hands frequently.
  3. Visit the websites www.vaccineinformation.org/video/pertussis.asp or www.sdiz.org. to learn more about Pertussis.

If you have any additional questions regarding Pertussis, you may call the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency, Epidemiology and Immunization Services at 1-866-358-2966 and press 5 to speak with a Public Health Nurse.

PLNU’s Wellness Center is available for consultation M-F, 8:00a-4:30a and may be reached at 619-849-2574.