Vail continues to see whooping cough

2013-11-23T00:00:00Z Vail continues to see whooping coughBy Jamar Younger Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

The Vail School District has confirmed another case of whooping cough, this time at one of the district’s smaller charter schools.

The latest case involved a child at the Civano Community School, a district-run charter school with 107 students near South Houghton and East Drexel roads, school district officials said.

Vail posted a message on its Facebook page Friday notifying parents of the ill student, as well as a probable case involving another Civano student.

If the school confirms another case, the Pima County Health Department will likely have to require nonimmunized students to stay home, according to the message.

“If there is another one in the next day or so, we will follow the recommendation of the Health Department,” said district spokeswoman Natalie Luna Rose.

This was the latest in a string of whooping cough cases that have spread through some district schools since the end of the last school year.

The first case was reported in May.

As of last week, the county Health Department had confirmed 22 cases of the highly contagious respiratory disease, also known as pertussis.

The county declared outbreaks at two district schools — Empire High School and Sycamore Elementary.

An outbreak means three or more cases within 21 days.

When an outbreak is declared, students at those schools who are not fully vaccinated have to stay home for at least two weeks.

The district has made arrangements for students at both schools who haven’t been able to attend class.

Empire students have met at the district’s headquarters, communicating with their teacher via iChat from a conference room, Luna Rose said.

Sycamore students have been taking classes at Corona de Tucson Baptist Church, which is near the elementary school, said Sycamore Principal Ken Graff.

Students in third through fifth grades attend class for three hours in the morning, while the younger children come for the same amount of time in the afternoon, Graff said.

The students have done the rest of the work at their homes, he said.

“We’ve been working with 20 kids on a consistent basis,” he said.

Graff expects the children to return to school on Dec. 2.

In addition to Civano, Empire and Sycamore, there have been probable or confirmed cases reported at Andrada Polytechnic High School and Cienega High School, and at Old Vail, Desert Sky and Rincon Vista middle schools.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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