Gaithersburg High Reports Latest Case of Whooping Cough

There has been another case of whooping cough in Montgomery County, this time at Gaithersburg High School.gburghigh

Mary Anderson, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed to MyMCMedia Friday that a student at that school has been confirmed to have pertussis, a highly-contagious respiratory illness. That makes the 16th case of the illness in Montgomery County students this year.

Whooping cough got the attention of local health officials after an outbreak was reported at a camp in Pennsylvania attended by several hundred Montgomery County Kids. Originally 12 kids with some connection to that camp had been confirmed with pertussis. Anderson said three of those original cases were lab-confirmed and nine others were epidemiologically linked, meaning they showed symptoms of the illness and were linked to someone at the camp who had pertussis. The original 12 kids are students at Cabin John Middle School in Potomac and Robert Frost Middle School in Rockville, Julius West Middle School in Rockville and Cold Spring Elementary.

Since then a student at Bethesda’s Thomas S. Wootton High School, who was also connected to the Pennsylvania camp, was reported to have pertussis. And, a Sherwood High School student in Sandy Spring who had nothing to do with the camp has been confirmed by a laboratory test to have pertussis, according to Anderson.  A student at Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, who went to the camp, was also diagnosed with pertussis earlier this month, Anderson said.

School officials at Gaithersburg High School sent a letter home to parents alerting them that the illness was discovered at the school and asked them to be aware of the symptoms. Anderson said the Gaithersburg student did not attend the camp in Pennsylvania.

Whooping cough show up each year in the county, according to Anderson. In 2010 the county reported nine pertussis cases; in 2011- 18; in 2012- 78 and in 2013 there were 40 cases, according to Anderson.

So far in 2014, the department reported 36 cases including the 16 students.

Pertussis spreads easily from person to person through coughing and sneezing, according to the CDC website. A person with pertussis can infect up to 12 to 15 other people. The illness can be serious and life threatening to infants and young children, according to the CDC.

Gaithersburg High Reports Latest Case of Whooping Cough

gburghigh

There has been another case of whooping cough in Montgomery County, this time at Gaithersburg High School. Mary Anderson, spokeswoman for the Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed to MyMCMedia Friday that a student at that school has been confirmed to have pertussis, a highly-contagious respiratory illness. That makes the 16th case of the […]

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Health Department Still Tracking Whooping Cough Outbreak (Video)

photo of Cindy Edwards

Officials with the Montgomery County’s Department of Health and Human Services are still tracking the outbreak of whooping cough in Montgomery County, but as of Sept. 4 no additional confirmed cases have been reported. The department’s Cindy Edwards, senior nurse administrator for communicable disease and epidemiology, talks about pertussis and the status of the outbreak […]

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Whooping Cough Outbreak Reported At Four Schools in Montgomery County

photo of Centers for Disease Prevention sign

UPDATED, Sept. 2, 11 a.m.- Parents at four schools in Montgomery County have been notified that their children may have been exposed to a contagious respiratory illness known as Whooping Cough. According to Montgomery County Public Schools spokesman Dana Tofig, those schools include: Julius West Middle School in Rockville, Cabin John Middle School in Potomac, […]

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Krista Brick

About Krista Brick

Krista Brick is a multi-media journalist with Montgomery Community Media.

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