As Pleasanton Unified School District classes resumed from winter break this week, some Foothill High School parents were notified of a new reported case of pertussis, or whooping cough.
Foothill parents whose children were potentially exposed received an email notice from the school Monday, according to PUSD spokesman Patrick Gannon.
Foothill High School logo.
Whooping cough typically starts like a cold, with symptoms including a stuffy or runny nose, a mild cough and a low fever or no fever at all, according to the county health department.
The cough steadily worsens to where coughing fits or spasms occur, causing one to have problems catching their breath or to gag or vomit after coughing. Occasionally when someone with pertussis inhales after a coughing fit, they make a high-pitched "whooping" sound.
Whooping cough is spread when a sick person coughs or sneezes in another person's face; shares a confined space for more than one hour; and by kissing, health officials said. Symptoms usually start within a week to 10 days after contact with the ill person but can take up to three weeks to develop.
"This is one of the childhood immunizations, so kids are protected if they're properly immunized and people around them are as well," public health spokeswoman Sherri Willis said last month.