The University has been notified by the Vanderburgh County Health Department that there is one confirmed and one potential case of pertussis (also known as Whooping Cough) identified on campus. The Vanderburgh County Health Department indicates that the affected individuals are being treated at home and neither lives in University housing.
Symptoms of pertussis may include the following:
The first stage can last 1-2 weeks, and symptoms may include a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, and mild cough – all symptoms of a common cold. The second stage usually lasts 1-6 weeks, but can persist for up to 10 weeks. Characteristic symptoms include a burst of numerous, rapid coughs. The patient may suffer a long inhaling effort that sounds like a “whoop” and may experience vomiting. Fever may be absent, minimal, or significant.
Close contact is defined as anyone who has had direct contact with respiratory, oral, or nasal secretions from a symptomatic person. Students and faculty who may have had contact with the diagnosed individuals through classes or University organizations will receive a separate e-mail from the Office of the Dean of Students with additional information regarding precautionary measures as prescribed by the Vanderburgh County Health Department. In addition, individuals who may have compromised immune systems, are pregnant, who have children under the age of 10, or who are under-immunized may want to consider a Tdap booster as a precautionary measure. This should be discussed with your family physician. Please note: the University’s Crayton E. and Ellen Mann Health Center does not have the vaccine in its inventory as immunizations are not provided through this campus service.
Anyone experiencing symptoms of the disease such as runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, mild to severe coughing, etc., should seek evaluation and medical attention at the University health center, local medical facility, or your family physician, without delay, to prevent further spread of the disease and, if appropriate, receive a vaccine or antibiotics.
For more information about this disease, please visit the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov or contact the Vanderburgh County Health Department at 812-435-2400 or the University health center at 812-488-2033.