GREENVILLE, Mich. (WWJ) – A single case of pertussis has led one Michigan school to ban unvaccinated students from class.
Greenville Public Schools Superintendent Peter Haines says that after one Greenville High School student was diagnosed with the very contagious disease — more commonly known as whooping cough — the district is taking precautions.
School officials are also working with those who are not vaccinated.
“If they don’t choose to be vaccinated, they’ll have to miss some school time in class,” Haines told WWJ Newsradio 950, “but we’ll make arrangements to do our best to keep them up to speed even though they’re not in attendance.”
Greenville Public schools made the decision to keep unvaccinated students out of class for 20 days after the last diagnosed case on recommendation from the Mid Michigan District Health Department. MLive reports that the department’s Dr. Robert Graham sent a letter to school superintendents in December discussing the surge in vaccine-preventable illnesses in Michigan, including whooping cough, and how districts should respond.
Haines would not specify a number, but said only a “handful” of students in the district are not vaccinated. The ban only applies to students in the same school building as the ill child. [The school district has posted information for parents HERE].
Greenville is located in mid-Michigan’s Montcalm County.
Symptoms of pertussis, much like the common cold, can include a runny nose with watery eyes, nasal congestion, a mild fever and a dry cough. For more information about whopping cough from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, click here.