WOOD RIVER JUNCTION - There has been one confirmed case of Whooping cough (Pertussis) at Chariho Middle School, and while it does not seem to have spread, the district will not be taking any chances.
Chariho Supt. Barry Ricci said that the town of Richmond Dept. of Emergency Management has asked that the district hold a clinic at the middle school to detect and deter any future cases of the disease. The clinic, which is not yet underway, will be conducted under the direction of the Rhode Island Dept. of Health (DOH).
While the case was confirmed as Whooping cough last Monday, Jan. 30, the affected student has since returned to class with a doctor’s clearance, and there have been no other confirmed cases.
“The Department of Health considered it to be an isolated incident,” said Ricci, “so they did not require us to do anything else.”
Even though DOH did not require the school to take on any further action, Chariho Middle School Principal Gregory Zenion called all of the school’s parents and told them about the case.
There was also a notice of the case on the town of Charlestown’s website last week, along with the emergency hot-line number for DOH.
As of Tuesday, there have been 28 confirmed cases of Whooping cough in Rhode Island this season, 25 of which have occurred in Barrington schools, according to DOH spokesman Peter Hanney. He added, however, that there are potentially some cases that DOH is not tracking.
Whooping cough, formally known as Pertussis, is a respiratory bacterial infection that affects the lungs and airways. It is known as its more common title because of the whooping sound made when an infected person coughs.
For more information, pick up a copy of The Chariho Times.