Health Matters

Campus Health Advisory

Whooping Cough (Pertussis)

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease spread person to person by coughing and sneezing. The disease also known as whooping cough is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis. 

Symptoms of pertussis include:

  • violent coughing
  • vomiting
  • sleep loss

If you develop a severe cough you are advised to see your health care provider. Persons diagnosed with Pertussis usually receive an antibiotic.  If given early, the antibiotic if given early can shorten the course of illness. If you are diagnosed with Pertussis stay home until you have completed 5 days of antibiotics.

 A  vaccine called Tdap (Tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) became available for children over 7 years of age and adults in June 2005.   Students and employees who were exposed and have never had the adult Tdap vaccine are encouraged to contact their personal provider to receive this vaccine.  The vaccine is good for 10 years and offers protection against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. 

Pertussis is particularly dangerous for young infants who have not completed their primary vaccination series (DTaP). Persons who have infants at home or who will be exposed to infants over winter break are strongly encouraged to get this vaccine as soon as possible if they have not had the Tdap vaccine.

We are also encouraging "non-exposed" students, faculty, and staff who have never had the Tdap vaccine to take this opportunity to be vaccinated.

More information can be found at the following websites:
PH-SKC website:
CDC website:

2010-2011 Influenza Vaccine
Students, faculty and staff are encouraged to speak with their personal healthcare provider regarding the advisability of influenza immunization. Check with your insurance provide for benefit coverage.

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations are now available. The following information is adapted from the 2010 FDA announcement.
•    This year’s influenza vaccine will include both the seasonal strain and the H1N1-Ike virus strain in one vaccine.
•    Influenza vaccine is now recommended for everyone over the age of six months.
•    Prevention of spread can be accomplished by washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home if you are sick with a fever.