Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

Magic Valley is seeing an outbreak of pertussis in some of its schools. So far, there have been no reported cases in Jerome County. 

Pertussis Facts: 

The incubation lasts from 5-21 days, usually 7-10 days. That means it will take this long for you to exhibit signs of the infection once you have contracted it. 


A person is considered infectious from the time they start showing symptoms until 2 weeks after their cough begins. Someone who has had no pertussis immunization may remain infectious for 6 weeks or more after the cough starts. A cough present longer than 2 weeks, especially with vomiting after coughing, should raise suspicion of a pertussis infection. 

Pertussis is spread through the respiratory route. People get infected when they come in contact with droplets of moisture that form when an infected individual talks, coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land on or be rubbed into the eyes, nose, or mouth. The droplets do not stay in the air. They travel less than 3 feet and fall onto the ground or other surfaces in the surrounding area. To minimize spreading the infection, make sure that surfaces are cleaned well. Frequently wash your hands. Cough or sneeze into your shoulder. Do not rub your eyes, nose, or mouth. 

Pertussis is a vaccine preventable disease. Make sure your child (and you) are up to date on your pertussis immunization. Protection can decrease over time so follow the most recent immunization recommendations. 

Individuals who are coughing and think it may be pertussis should stay home until they receive appropriate evaluation and treatment. They may return to school after 5 days of appropriate antibiotic treatment. 

Kathleen J. Fagerland
Jerome School District Nurse

Summit Elementary

200 10th Avenue West
Jerome, Idaho 83338
P 208-324-3396
F 208-324-3399

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