Information on Pertussis
Cal Poly students can also receive the Tdap shot at the Cal Poly Health Center M-F 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. We charge our cost for the shot ($34 as of 9/11/13).
San Luis Obispo Public Health Department reports that the county continues to see a significant number of Pertussis cases (also known as Whooping Cough). Several cases have been reported in the Cal Poly community over the summer.
Pertussis is highly contagious. While adolescents and adults generally get a milder form of the disease, the disease is quite dangerous for young children. The initial symptoms are similar to the common cold--runny nose, sneezing, low grade fever, and cough. The key distinguishing symptom of Pertussis is a cough lasting longer than two weeks, increasing in severity with episodes of sudden, severe coughing fits that may result in difficulty getting one’s breath or even vomiting.
If you have a serious cough that continues for more than two weeks or if your cough sounds like this http://health.utah.gov/epi/diseases/pertussis/pertussis_sounds.htm, do not go to class AND go see your healthcare provider.
Go to a hospital's emergency department if someone with whooping cough shows these symptoms:
- Inability to tolerate liquids (vomiting)
- Uncontrolled fever even with anti-fever medications
- Signs of respiratory distress including rapid breathing and turning blue
- Signs of dehydration, including weight loss, dry mucous membranes, decreased urine output
If you are diagnosed with Pertussis, it is very important that you isolate yourself from others, especially from young children. If you live in University Housing, please let your RA, CA, or CSD know. Here are some suggestions on how to prevent spreading your illness to others. You should not return to school or work until you have been treated for at least 5 days with an antibiotic or until you’ve been cleared to return by your healthcare provider.
If you believe that you have had close contact (a cough or sneeze in the face, sharing food/eating utensils, kissing, or sharing a confined space in close proximity for more than an hour with a symptomatic person), please see your healthcare provider to explore the need for preventative antibiotics to protect you from getting the illness.
You are contagious during the early, cold-like stage of pertussis, so please use good cough and sneeze hygiene at all times. Alsways cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.. You should also wash your hands frequently.
Vaccination is the best prevention for Pertussis, plus it also protects you against tetanus and diphtheria. Anyone between the age of 10 and age 64 should receive a one-time Tdap booster vaccine to prevent the spread of Pertussis from older children and adults to young children. The Public Health Department recommends that everyone, especially those exposed to young children either at home or through their work/studies, obtain a booster vaccine if they have not received a Pertussis booster. Please check your vaccination records to be sure that you have received a shot containing the Pertussis vaccine after the age of 10.
For more information about pertussis and local updates, please go to: http://www.slocounty.ca.gov/health/publichealth/commdisease/pertussis.htm or call the Public Health Information Line at 805-788-2903. Cal Poly students may also call the Cal Poly Health Center at (805) 756-1211 or after-hours at 866-439-2012.