(Jackson, Wyo.) - Wyoming Department of Health (WDH), Teton County Public Health Nursing, and Teton County School District have been notified of a recent case of pertussis in a child attending Wilson Elementary School. Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," is a bacterial disease of the respiratory tract that can be easily transmitted from one person to another. The disease is spread by respiratory material containing the bacteria from an infected person who sneezes or coughs. The disease is the most serious in infants and children of preschool age. Pertussis symptoms usually start within five to 10 days after exposure to an infected person but may take as long as 21 days. Initial symptoms may include: runny nose, sneezing, fever, and a cough. Within two weeks, the cough may become more severe with periodic episodes of intense coughing which may be followed by vomiting. These prominent coughing episodes can help distinguish pertussis from a regular cold. If you or your child are experiencing symptoms of pertussis as described above, we strongly recommend you contact your health care provider to see if pertussis could be causing the illness. The ill person must stay home from school until pertussis has been excluded or they have received an appropriate antibiotic for at least five days. It is also important that staff who may have pertussis stay home likewise. Any person believed to have possibly been exposed to pertussis received this same information directly from Wilson Elementary School on the evening of Thursday, November 12th. This notice is to inform the entire TCSD community of this occurrence, to describe the symptoms of pertussis and to provide recommended actions for anyone who feels they may have similar symptoms. According to the Wyoming Department of Health, immunization against pertussis is the most effective way to prevent the disease. However, some people can still develop the illness even after vaccination. during this time of pertussis in our area, it is important to make sure you and your children are up-to-date on the pertussis vaccine and boosters. For more information about the pertussis vaccine, please contact your health care provider of the Teton County Public Health Nursing office at 307.733.6401. Information is also available from the Center for Disease Control.