There have been a number of cases of pertussis in our schools in the past 6 months, and it is still in our community. It is a respiratory infection, spread by cough, runny nose, sneezing. It can be prevented by vaccination, covering mouths, washing hands, and staying away from others when unwell. People remain infectious for 3 weeks after onset of the cough, or until 5 days into a course of antibiotics. We are seeing mild cases, but we are trying to protect those who are vulnerable in our community: newborn babies, women late in their pregnancy, the elderly, and those with chronic disease. Vaccination can be provided to pregnant women, and is best given around 28-32 weeks. Please seek advice from us if you are concerned.