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School Health Reference Guide


The Region of Peel School Health Reference Guide is a supplementary resource to relevant Peel and Dufferin-Peel school board policies. Refer to school board policy first if you have questions or concerns.

Childhood Diseases and Illnesses

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)
  • Caused by a bacteria.
  • May start with common cold symptoms, such as runny nose, mild fever and cough. It often turns into a series of severe coughing spells that can continue over a period of six to 12 weeks. A coughing attack may end with a high-pitched whoop as the person gasps for air and may vomit.
  • Coughing is often worse at night.
  • Most contagious early in the illness and for up to 21 days after the cough starts.
  • Spread by close contact with the discharges or droplet spray from the nose and throat of an infected person.
  • The period between exposure to the infection and the appearance of symptoms is five to 21 days.
  • A child can return to school five days after starting antibiotics or 21 days after onset without antibiotics.
Instructions for Schools
  • Report immediately to Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.
  • Child can return to school five days after starting antibiotics or 21 days from onset without antibiotics.
  • The distinct cough can last six to 12 weeks even with treatment.
  • Encourage thorough hand washing and respiratory etiquette.
  • Remember to protect the confidentiality of the student by not disclosing a diagnosis to concerned parents and/or colleagues. If contact follow up of those exposed is required, Peel Public Health will contact those who are at risk.
  • Vaccinations are given as part of the routine childhood immunization schedule.
  • Consult Peel Public Health to determine if a letter has to go out to the classroom contacts.

Peel Public Health is not responsible for the content of the linked websites.

For more information on communicable disease resources and programs,
call Peel Public Health at 905-799-7700.(In Caledon, call 905-584-2216.)


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Revised: Tuesday January 12 2016