WEST MICHIGAN — The Whooping Cough bacterial infection is spreading in West Michigan, and has now resulted in the cancellation of some local basketball games.
The Grand Rapids Christian Eagles announced Thursday that “there have been six confirmed cases of pertussis (Whooping Cough) at Holland Christian, three of whom are FR/JV boys basketball players.
“In consultation with the superintendent, principal and health professionals the decision was made to cancel the Freshman and JV contests for today and the Varsity contests for tomorrow in the interests of the health of our students and fans.”
Grand Rapids Christian High School canceled “All Thursday and Friday nights’ F, JV, and V Basketball games against Holland Christian are canceled due to student illness,” according to a Grand Rapids Area Information Link (GRAIL) advisory.
The Ionia County Health Department says four confirmed cases have been reported in that county since the end of November. All of those cases involved children ages three to 17 months.
The Holland Christian Schools told parents in a letter Wednesday that it was made aware of Whooping Cough infecting some Holland Christian High School basketball players. “As a result, we are working closely with Allegan County Health Department in response…”.
Pertussis is a potentially serious illness, especially for those who have not be immunized. The disease is caused by a bacterial infection that initially causes symptoms similar to the common cold, such as sneezing, a runny nose, mild dry cough and low-grade fever. The symptoms usually appear within seven to 10 days, but in rare cases it can take up to three weeks.
The Holland Christian Schools asked parents to check their children’s immunization records. “All children should receive five doses of a pertussis-containing vaccine (DTaP) beginning at two months of age, with the fifth dose given prior to entering school at age 4-to-6 years. A booster dose of another pertussis-containing vaccine (Tdap) is recommended after the age of 10 years, due to waning immunity, and is available for older children and adults.”
More information is available on the CDC website.