One of our juvenile patrons who has been in the library has been diagnosed with pertussis (whooping cough). The dates they were in the library and attending story hour and other library programs were: 7/11, 7/12, 7/18, 7/21. The Westchester County Department of Health has advised us that the best way to prevent pertussis or whooping cough in your child and others is to be up to date with your vaccinations.
We are thus advising that you contact your family physician to check your or your child‘s pertussis vaccine history. The CDC, New York State and Westchester County Departments of Health recommend that all children receive 5 doses of a pertussis-containing vaccine by kindergarten entry, and that all individuals 10 years of age and older, including teachers and staff, receive another booster with a different pertussis-containing vaccine.
Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a contagious bacterial infection that can begin like a common cold, but progresses to severe bouts of coughing followed by a high whoop or crowing sound that can last for weeks or months. It is primarily spread from person to person by direct contact with mucus or droplets from the nose and throat of infected individuals. A fact sheet about pertussis is available at the Reference Desk, Children’s Room and Circulation Desk.
While the Health Department advises us that the risk of illness is relatively low for those who are completely vaccinated, if you or your child develops any of these symptoms or you have any additional concerns, please contact your family physician as soon as possible and advise him/her that there has been a case of pertussis in your or your child’s school.
If your physician has any questions, he/she may call the Westchester County Department of Health at (914) 813-5159, Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm.
Pamela Thornton, Director