The School District of Rhinelander (SDR) and the Oneida County Health Department (OCHD) have jointly made the decision to close Rhinelander schools Dec. 19, 20, and 21 due to the high incidence of a variety of illnesses among students and staff.
Presently, the main illness emerging is whooping cough). The school will remain closed from Monday December 19, 2016 through Christmas Break. The school will reopen on Monday January 2, 2017. All co-curricular activities, including practices, are canceled in conjunction with this school closure.
According to a district press release, the collaborative decision was not made lightly; Oneida County schools are monitored daily to look for trends in illness. The district and the health department have noted evidence of rising illness, and feel it is time to take action to prevent the further spread of illness.
Individuals with signs of illness should stay home and not go into the community, except to seek medical care. Ill individuals should work with their doctor as prescribed.
School closure is important to reduce exposure and contact among students, teachers and community members to stop the spread of the illness, as many students and their families are sick.
It is important for the community to assist in prevention of pertussis by knowing what the signs and symptoms are, encouraging people who may have pertussis to contact their doctor, and being up to date on your immunizations.
Individuals with Pertussis May:
- Begin with cold-like symptoms: a runny nose, possible low-grade fever, and a mild
- After 1-2 weeks, the illness progresses to spells of explosive coughing that can interrupt
breathing and sleeping
- Make sounds as they struggle to inhale air (hence the name “whooping cough”)
Gag or vomit from coughing
- Experience severe coughing spells for several weeks or months
- Vaccinated individuals symptoms may be milder and without the typical “whoop”
For more information, call your healthcare provider, or contact the Oneida County Health Department at 715-369-6111.