Both of the confirmed cases have been in the third grade, but all parents were informed as a precaution.
"We want to make sure there's not any more of those kids out there spreading it around to the other children because that is what happens," said Lisa Engle, Epidemiologist for the Chesapeake Health Department.
According to the letter sent home to parents, pertussis is a highly contagious disease and is spread through the air by cough. Pertussis will begin with cold symptoms and a cough will worsen within one to two weeks.
Symptoms usually include a long series of coughs, followed by a whooping noise. Fever does not usually accompany the disease.
Whooping cough cases spiked nationwide last year, making it one of the worst on record -- 21,000 cases were reported and 26 people died.
Virginia Health records show it's on the rise here too, with Chesapeake reporting the most cases in our region.
Engle had an explanation for that. "There was an alert sent to the doctors also... that is why Chesapeake is probably seeing more cases, because we have alerted them to the fact that it's going on in the community so they are testing more," Engle said. "We have deaths in Virginia usually every year."
The Chesapeake Health Department is asking for parents to follow these guidelines:
- If your child develops symptoms, do NOT send them to school until you have consulted your physician.
- If your doctor suspects or confirms pertussis, the student should be excluded from school for at least five full days after beginning antibiotics.
- Make sure your child is up-to-date on their DTaP/DTP immunizations.
- Current recommendations advise that persons 11 to 18 years of age should receive a single booster dose of pertussis vaccine, preferably at 11 to 12 years of age.
If you have any questions call the Chesapeake Health Department at 382-8642 or 435-6078.
Norfolk Police are investigating the cause of death for male found unconscious on the beach.
To ease holiday mailing, the Richmond District of the U.S. Postal Service is extending its Saturday window hours.
Free Christmas trees will be given to active-duty members of the military and their families Wednesday.