Report says McDermoth Elementary student diagnosed with whooping cough

In a letter sent to some parents on Tuesday, a student at McDermoth Elementary was reported to have whooping cough.

In a letter released to KXRO from Health Officer Dr. John Bauscher of the Grays Harbor County Public Health & Social Services Department, they say that they received a report of the pertussis diagnosis.

They remind residents that pertussis is most dangerous for babies under one year old and women in their last weeks of pregnancy, They say that the infection of the respiratory tract causes runny nose, sneezing, cough, and low-grade fever.

After 1-2 weeks, the cough from the illness becomes more severe and people sometimes cough until they vomit or make a “whooping” noise as they breath in.

Symptoms of pertussis are said to usually appear between 7 and 10 days of exposure.

The McDermoth student was contagious at school only on the morning of January 21st.

What to do:

  • If your child is ill with the symptoms described above, contact your health care provider as soon as possible to ask about testing for pertussis.
  • If your child begins to have symptoms in the next 3 weeks, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.
  • Avoid contact between people with symptoms and small children until a diagnosis is made.
  • If your child has no symptoms but has regular, close contact with a baby under one year of age or with a pregnant woman, contact your health care provider or public health. They can help you decide if some medicine to prevent pertussis is necessary for your child.

They advise that a vaccine can prevent pertussis. Children 11 and older that have not had a tetanus booster should get a shot for tetanus diphtheria, and pertussis.

More information about pertussis and the vaccine is available at the centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at

For assistance with questions about your child’s health, contact your health care provider  or public health at (360) 5321-8632.