I appreciate all you do to maintain a close connection to our school. JRES is as amazing as it is due to the incredible community support. I’m writing today to make sure we’re all on the same page in regards to the current influx of pertussis.
To begin with, pertussis is commonly known as whooping cough. It is one of the contagious diseases that we are immunized against. Despite the immunizations, some of our students have tested positive for the pertussis virus. It appears, then, that this is a different strain of the virus (much like how this season’s influenza virus was different than the flu vaccine was designed to prevent).
Last week our office was notified of two confirmed cases. I could not have asked for a more comprehensive response by the parents of those students who have tested positive. They have done everything right. At the school level we have followed the guidelines from the Summit County Health Department in regards to notifying classes that may be impacted. This week we learned that there are more confirmed cases at other grade levels, and we felt the safest course of action was to inform the school community as a whole.
Those individuals who have tested positive appear to have mild symptoms, possibly because they received the vaccine. In fact, it hasn’t been nearly as debilitating as our cold and flu season has been. One of our concerns is that non-immunized students may be exposed to the virus, and it could be much more severe. Another urgent concern is that we ensure no infants are exposed.
If a member of your family is exhibiting any cold or flu-like symptoms, I encourage you to see your health care provider. Of course, we would like the fewest possible number of missed school days. Thank you for your continued support of our wonderful school.