A Chester County School Vaccinates Adults After Whooping Cough Outbreak

By Michelle Durham

WAYNE, Pa. (CBS) — There has been a confirmed outbreak of whooping cough at a Chester County public school.

Valley Forge Elementary School has had two confirmed cases of pertussis, and that is enough to constitute an “outbreak,” according to Betsy Walls, bureau director for personal health services at the Chester County Health Department.

“All of the kids were protected (vaccinated),” she tells KYW Newsradio, “but that’s because of their age and school requirements. It was the faculty that didn’t have it — in adults it’s not a required vaccine. And so that what was we were doing there on Friday. We thought we would have some students, but we had all adults (needing to be vaccinated).”

One of those diagnosed with the ailment is a student, the other is not.

Health department officials worked with the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District to ensure that everyone is protected against what some people call “the 100-day cough.”

Walls says it’s very important for adults to get that T-DAP vaccine.

“For whatever reason, vaccines we got as children we are waning in our protection as adults,” she notes. “We cough, we go to work, but no one thinks to look for pertussis.”

But now, area physicians are looking for pertussis in patients with a cough lasting longer than a week.

Walls says the T-Dap injection also contains vaccinations against tetanus — valuable protection as the summer months approach — and diphtheria.

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One Comment

  1. L Connell says:

    it was my child and yes her vaccinations were all up to date!

  2. Jeanne says:

    Had the student been vaccinated?

  3. Alyssa says:

    Keep on avoiding vaccinating your kids…look where it gets you

  4. Thom Hixenbaugh says:

    It’s not an issue that suddenly the vaccines are wearing off in adults. They always did and it’s fully expected. A lot of this is the gaining acceptance to ‘suck it up and go to work’ attitude that is growing in this country when you do have a cough. I’m not saying that people are wrong for doing this, but if you are going to do this (and especially if you work with the little petri dishes that we call children ;] ) we need to make sure that our adult vaccines are up to date as well. Even if the adult figures that they may be able to shake off the cough, there are others around you that may not.

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