Whooping Cough Hits Campus

Flu Shots
Chang Xu

Dean Hammond's emails haven't exactly gotten brighter since the last one updating us all on Harvard's alcohol policy. Her most recent email, sent to the entire student body, announced that there have been several confirmed cases of Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, among Harvard undergraduate students.

According to the email, "Pertussis usually begins with cold-like symptoms like nasal congestion, sneezing, and dry cough. The cough becomes increasingly severe over one or two weeks, and can last for four to six weeks." The email also reminded students to take basic preventative measures, like hand washing and "dispos[ing] of used tissues and similar items appropriately."

For many anxious students, these old adages just don't cut it.

"I definitely think that the HUHS should send out more advice," said Emily T. M. Trang '16. "I'm sick and I don't know if I have whooping cough."

Other students reported feeling completely ignorant on the disease, having only previously encountered in the context of 19th century tenement houses.

"I thought it had been eradicated to be honest," said Ethan I. Simon '16. "I thought it was like polio."

While Pertussis can be fatal for young children, for college students the remedy is rather simple. After a round of antibiotics, you should be good as new—that is, in four to six weeks.

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