Tips for parents related to communicable diseases and school

// Posted By Janie Rohlfing

Autumn tends to be the time of year that families and schools begin to see more incidences of communicable disease including pertussis, which is commonly known as whooping cough.

As of Oct. 6, a total of seven confirmed cases of pertussis have been found in one Lee’s Summit R-7 school —  Hazel Grove Elementary. Families in schools with cases of pertussis confirmed via the Jackson County Health Department would notified via our Health Services Department. As with all communicable diseases, our school nurses work closely with the Jackson County Health Department and follow the department’s recommendations.

With pertussis and other communicable diseases, the district’s Facilities Services staff members work closely with schools to provide additional cleaning and disinfecting of targeted classrooms or areas.

Although this number of confirmed cases would not be considered especially unusual for this time of year, we wanted to communicate additional information about pertussis to R-7 families. Symptoms of pertussis include a long series of coughs or coughing fits followed by a whooping noise that may last for at least two weeks. Occasionally severe coughing episodes can cause vomiting, turning blue and/or difficulty catching one’s breath. The cough is often worse at night and cough medicine usually does not relieve the coughing.

It is possible for an individual who has received the pertussis vaccine to contract pertussis. In these cases, the case tends to be milder, shorter in duration and symptoms are considerably less severe.

If you child comes down with cold symptoms that include a cough, please talk to your child’s doctor. If your child is in a school with a confirmed case of pertussis, please share this information with your doctor. Additional information about pertussis is available at

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