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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of December 11 - 17, 2002


District Health concludes pertussis investigation

Express Staff Writer

South Central District Health is finalizing its investigation into the pertussis outbreak in Blaine County, which has been in evidence since September.

There were 181 suspected cases, of which 66 were confirmed as pertussis. Another 14 probable cases conformed to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention case definitions.

District Health said other suspect cases might also have been pertussis, but would not be reported as such since they donít meet the strict CDC criteria. No new cases were reported in the past week, the Health Department said in a press release.

In total, students and teachers in five classrooms in Blaine County were recommended to receive antibiotics. These recommendations were based on two symptomatic and later confirmed cases in the classrooms.

Early screening tests had problems of "false positives" due to cross contaminations, Public Health Response Manager Tom Machala said. "The state laboratory was quick to recommend changes."

Each time a health care provider reported a suspected case of pertussis an investigation was undertaken. South Central District Health commended all health care providers in Blaine County for their efforts.

"Without the help of the community at large, this outbreak would not have been controlled in such a short period of time," Machala said.


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