Whooping cough cases confirmed at Wilton elementary school

The Elk Grove Unified School District reports that two cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, have been confirmed among students at C.W. Dillard Elementary School in Wilton.

Xanthi Pinkerton, district spokeswoman, said the district was notified of the cases late Monday afternoon by the Sacramento County Health Department. Principal Sandra Wiest relayed the information to parents in a letter Tuesday.

Pinkerton said whooping cough is a largely airborne disease, which people typically catch through contact with an ill person. As a precaution, district maintenance crews Monday disinfected “touch points,” such as desktops and door handles, in classrooms and common areas, she said.

Students are supposed to receive pertussis vaccinations to attend school. Because of privacy constraints, Pinkerton said she could not say whether the youngsters who became ill had been vaccinated.

Pertussis begins like a cold, but coughing becomes the main symptom and can persist for several weeks, Wiest noted in her letter to parents. Students diagnosed with pertussis may be treated with antibiotics, and are required to stay home and not attend school for a minimum of five days.

Pinkerton said the students recently diagnosed did not attend school during their treatment.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy