Students in the Lincoln School District have been diagnosed with pertussis, known as whooping cough, officials said Tuesday (May 13).
Whooping cough is a “highly contagious disease involving the respiratory tract caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis,” according to a letter to Lincoln parents from Dirk Haselow, medical director for the Arkansas Department of Health.
The letter indicates a student at Lincoln Elementary has been diagnosed with whooping cough, but Mary Ann Spears, district superintendent, told 5NEWS on Monday that apparently three children from one family have the disease. One child is in the elementary school, one is in the middle school and one is in the high school, she said.
Children will not be dismissed from school, Spears said. She said most children have been vaccinated against whooping cough, but a school nurse will be available to answer questions from parents or provide vaccine.
All students “should be observed for respiratory symptoms for the next 14 days,” according to the state letter.
“Immunization records will be reviewed by the nurse to see if an additional dose of pertussis vaccine is needed,” the letter states. “You will be notified if your child needs vaccine.”