A child at Forest Park Middle School in Franklin has been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, school officials say.
The worry is that the respiratory infection is very contagious - it is spread through sneezing, coughing, and being near an infected person.
Franklin Public Schools are working closely with the Franklin Public Health Department. Parents were notified Tuesday, and a deep cleaning of the schools is underway.
"I noticed the janitors cleaning a lot," says one student we talked with. "I wash my hands a lot. It's good parents are being notified to watch out for symptoms. A lot of kids could be better about washing their hands and stuff."
Early symptoms include a runny nose and cough. That can easily progress into violent fits of coughing that are not responsive to cough medications.
These tips were included in the note to parents:
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water, or alcohol based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not readily available.
- Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue and dispose of that tissue promptly in a waste container. If tissue is not available, cough into your shirtsleeve. Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid touching your nose, mouth and eyes to reduce the risk of germs entering your body.
- Keep all ill family members home from work or school.
- Contact your health care provider if you have any questions or if symptoms worsen.
Whooping cough/pertussis is treated with antibiotics. Nurses at Franklin Public Schools are available to answer any questions you might have.
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