School Health Central

Little Miami School Nurses

Britt Burlile RN, MSN           Deborah Smith
School Nurse - LMJHS   Clinic Nurse - LMHS  
899-3408 ext. 20410    899-3781 ext. 20402  
Shannon Horton   Jessica Knochel  
School Nurse - LMIS   School Nurse - Salem  
899-2334 ext. 30418   899-5275 ext. 45470  
Michelle Ross       Michelle Sedlatschek  
School Nurse - Maineville   School Nurse - Butlerville  
899-4760 ext. 35401   899-5200 ext. 35431  

School nurses are available daily to our students and staff to provide first aid, illness care, psycho social support, health screenings, and programs for disease prevention and health promotion.

All district nurses maintain current CPR and First Aid training as. Several nurses also maintain Pediatric Advanced Life Support certification through the American Heart Association. Some district school nurses are Certified School Nurses licensed by the Ohio Department of Education. 

Whooping Cough

Whooping cough, or pertussis, has made a resurgence recently. The Little Miami Local School District has had a handful of confirmed cases during the 2013-2014 school year and the District urges families to take measures to educate themselves about the disease. Read the Warren County Health Department directive on whooping cough. 

What is pertussis? Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the bacteria Bordetella pertussis

Who gets pertussis? Pertussis can occur at any age. Although most of the reported cases occur in children under five years, the number of cases in adolescents and adults is increasing, probably due to waning of vaccine immunity. Adolescents and adults and those partially protected by the vaccine may have milder disease which is not diagnosed as pertussis. Pertussis is thought to account for up to 7% of cough illnesses per year in adults. 

How is pertussis spread? Pertussis is primarily spread by direct contact with the discharges from the nose and throat of infected individuals. Frequently, older siblings or other adult household members who may be harboring the bacteria in their nose and throat can bring the disease home and infect an infant in the household. 

What are the symptoms of pertussis? Pertussis begins as a mild upper respiratory infection. Initially, symptoms resemble those of a common cold, including sneezing, runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough. Within two weeks, the cough becomes more severe and is characterized by episodes of numerous rapid coughs followed by a crowing or high-pitched whoop. A thick, clear mucous may be discharged with the coughing. These episodes may recur for one to two months, and are more frequent at night. Young infants, adolescents, and adults do not have these typical coughing spells. Older people or partially immunized children may have milder symptoms. 

How soon after infection do symptoms appear? The incubation period is usually 7 to 10 days, with a range of 4 to 21 days. 

When and for how long is a person able to spread pertussis? A person can transmit pertussis from the onset of symptoms to three weeks after the onset of coughing episodes. The period of communicability can be reduced to five days after appropriate antibiotic therapy is begun. 

Does past infection with pertussis make a person immune? One attack usually confers immunity comparable to that provided by vaccine. 

What are the complications associated with pertussis? Young infants are at the greatest risk for complications. Serious complications of pertussis include pneumonia, seizures, encephalopathy (disorders of the brain), and death. Less serious complications include ear infections, loss of appetite, and dehydration. 

What is the vaccine for pertussis? Children should be immunized with the DTaP (diphtheria toxoid in combination with tetanus toxoid and acellular pertussis) vaccine at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months of age and between 4 and 6 years of age. Older children and adults who have completed the primary series should receive Td (tetanus/diphtheria) boosters every 10 years. It is recommended that for both adolescents (11-18 years of age) and adults over 65 years of age, Tdap (tetanus/diphtheria/acellular pertussis) be used for one of those boosters to provide protection against pertussis. See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the most current Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommendations on vaccination and control measures. 

What can be done to prevent the spread of pertussis? The single most effective control measure is maintaining the highest possible level of immunization in the community. The treatment of cases of pertussis with the appropriate antibiotic is important, as is the treatment of close contacts of cases. In addition, medical professionals should consider the diagnosis of pertussis in adolescents and adults with persistent coughs. People who have or may have pertussis (including those with a persistent cough) should stay away from young children and infants until properly evaluated by a physician.