On Wed, May 22, 2019 at 9:57 AM Estvold, Leigh <LEstvold@mt.gov> wrote:

Good morning!
I’m sure everyone is aware of the pertussis outbreaks going on in our county, as well as Missoula and Flathead. We now have 18 cases in the county and one additional that is on the reservation but lives in Missoula county. Here’s the current breakdown:

  • <1 year = 4 (3 week, 1 mos., 3 mos., 7 mos.)
  • 1-4 year = 5
  • 5-10 year = 5 + 1 CSKT, Missoula Co.
  • >10 year = 4
Areas: all from St. Ignatius and Arlee (so far!)
Schools affected:

  • St. Ignatius high school – 2 students
  • St. Ignatius Elementary – 1 student
  • Arlee elementary – 1 student who lives in Missoula county
  • Mission Head Start – 1 student
Tribal: 2 – 1 Lake county resident, 1 Missoula county
Vaccination status:

  • Unvaccinated = 13
  • Under vaccinated = 4
  • Fully vaccinated = 2
*It is now a community-wide outbreak so we are recommending post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for all household members, close contacts who are high risk (pregnant, infants, immunocompromised) and close contacts who have close contact with high risk individuals.
*Students who are symptomatic are to be excluded from school until they either have documentation from a HCP that they were evaluated and determined to NOT have pertussis OR after completing 5 days of antibiotics OR for 21 days after the onset of symptoms.
Thanks to all the work at Polson and St. Ignatius schools in getting letters out to parents. If any additional schools are affected you will be notified so we can identify close contacts. If any other schools would like to send out letters to parents proactively, let me know. Otherwise, be on the lookout for symptomatic students & staff and let me know if you send anyone for evaluation!
Leigh Estvold, RN
Public Health Nurse
Lake County Public Health Dept.
802 Main Street, Polson, MT  59860
F) 406-883-7290

Lake County Public Health 802 Main Street, Suite A Polson, MT 59860 Phone: 406-883-7288 Fax: 406-883-7290 www.lakecountypublichealth.org May 16, 2019 Dear parents/guardians, As you may well know, Lake County is currently experiencing an outbreak of Pertussis, or Whooping Cough. In addition, our neighbors in Missoula and Flathead counties are having significant outbreaks as well. At this point only 1 St. Ignatius High School student has tested positive. While this student did not attend school once the cough started, we are sending notices home with all students to educate families on the illness. If children who have been attending school with a cough illness test positive for Pertussis, we will take steps to notify parents of students who were exposed to the illness. In the event of a disease outbreak, children that are not up-to-date with required immunizations may be excluded from school by the local health officer or the Department of Public Health and Human Services until the student is no longer at risk for contracting or transmitting that disease. Pertussis is an infection that affects the airways, and it can easily spread from person to person by coughing or sneezing. Pertussis can cause a severe cough that lasts for weeks or months, sometimes leading to coughing fits and/or vomiting. Anyone can get pertussis, but it can be very dangerous for babies and people with weakened immune systems. Family members with pertussis, especially siblings and parents, can spread pertussis to babies. Recommendations: 1. If your child has a cough:  Keep your child home from school and activities, such as sports or play groups. Make an appointment with your child’s doctor as soon as possible and tell the doctor that your child may have been exposed to pertussis. 2. If your child has been diagnosed with pertussis by his or her doctor:  Tell the school that a doctor diagnosed your child with pertussis.  Keep your child home from school and activities, such as sports or play groups, until your child has been on antibiotics for five days to treat pertussis.  Ask your child’s doctor for a note that states your child has pertussis. 3. If your child’s doctor says your child does NOT have pertussis:  Ask for a note from the doctor telling the school that your child’s cough is NOT pertussis and that your child can return to school and other activities at any time. Please feel free to call the Lake County Health Department at 406-883-7288 with questions or concerns and ask for the communicable disease nurse. Sincerely, Leigh Estvold, RN Lake County Public Health Nurse