WINTHROP — A public health official said Tuesday that a Methow Valley basketball player with a confirmed case of pertussis did not pose a high risk of spreading the disease at a Brewster tournament in late December.
But other schools should still be on the lookout for any students with symptoms of whooping cough, and take measures to prevent outbreaks in other areas.
“You can’t just walk by somebody and get pertussis, even though it’s contagious,” said Lauri Jones, community health director for Okanogan County Public Health. She said health officials haven’t determined whether the student was contagious at the time. A high-risk contact is based on several things which have not been determined for this case, including stage of the illness, ventilation, proximity and duration of contact.
The case was confirmed Jan. 3, almost a week after the Dec. 28 and 29 tournament with more than a dozen other schools.
Mark Wenzel, superintendent of the Methow Valley School District, said 11 students had confirmed cases, but many more untested students likely have or had the disease.
After discovering one case on the basketball team, the district postponed three games, and players — who are now allowed back at practice — have all been treated or cleared by health practitioners.