The Canadian County Health Department scheduled an emergency meeting for parents concerned their children may have been exposed to a student who tested positive for pertussis, or whooping cough.

Officials say only one student has contracted the disease so far, but they agreed to have a meeting to discuss precautions that can be taken.  As part of the notification process, the health department issued a notice to parents which contains guidelines parents might consider:

Parent Advisory- PERTUSSIS Outbreak

Emergency Meeting to be held at Local Elementary School

El Reno, OK – Canadian County Health Department located on 100 S. Rock Island has sent out a parent advisory confirming a local school-age student has tested positive for PERTUSSIS (whooping cough).

Pertussis is a contagious disease that is spread through the air when an infected person sneezes or coughs. Persons who have had close, personal contact to a case of pertussis or direct contact with secretions from the nose and throat have a slightly increased risk of becoming sick with pertussis.

Because your child was in the same classroom with the individual with pertussis, the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Canadian County Health Department recommend that your child take an antibiotic, to help PREVENT becoming ill. Antibiotics are recommended for your child as well as you, the parent, even if vaccinated against pertussis. Your child may continue to attend school and child care while taking the antibiotic. If your child becomes ill, contact your child's healthcare provider, immediately.

The following control measures are being implemented to help prevent further spread of pertussis at your child's child care centers and educational facilities:

1. It is strongly recommended that you contact your PCP to receive appropriate antibiotics to prevent further contagion

2. If your child develops symptoms of pertussis (cough, coughing fits, etc.) contact your PCP immediately

3. If your child has or may have pertussis, your child should remain home from day care/school until they have completed at least 5 days of appropriate antibiotic therapy

4. Children less than 7 years of age should have their immunization status reviewed by their PCP to ensure that children are up to date on their pertussis vaccination

There is an emergency community meeting held at Hillcrest Elementary School Auditorium, located on 1302 S. Miles Ave, El Reno, OK. February 16, 2012 @ 6:00 p.m. For a better understanding of PERTUSSIS you are highly advised to attend this meeting, TONIGHT!