Walking Pneumonia Reported at School

But school administrators and local doctors are not alarmed by the treatable illness.

Parents of students received letters Monday about “walking pneumonia” cases inside the building, but neither school administrators nor local doctors are alarmed.

School officials said “a few” walking pneumonia cases have been reported at the school, but added that the letter to parents was considered only precautionary to inform parents of the issue.

“I don’t think it’s a problem,” district spokeswoman Kara Droney said. “We’re just trying to promote healthy habits like hand washing this winter. I think this is more preventative. We’re just trying to increase our relationship with parents to work together to keep our students as healthy as possible.”

The letter, which is signed by building principal Ron Yasher, states the cases are not unusual in the region and does not indicate poor air quality at the school. It also states that any children with persistent coughs should see a pediatrician.

“We will continue to reinforce the importance of good hand washing with our students at the school,” Yasher wrote. “We ask that you do the same at home. Together we can keep our students healthy this winter.”

The response by the school district seemed adequate to Dr. Michael Carpathios, who is in . He said walking pneumonia is a condition that’s not easily spread like other winter illnesses.

“It’s not something that causes a big outbreak like MRSA or Strep that lay on surfaces. You have to be around someone that is actively coughing,” Carpathios said. “If you’re pretty healthy and not around anyone, you should be ok. You’re not going to just pick it up.”

He urged parents to watch for symptoms such as shortness of breath, a fever above 100 degrees and excessive coughing and phlegm. Carpathios said a chest x-ray usually can detect it and be easily treated with antibiotics.

“It’s just a matter of not letting it go too far,” he said.

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Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 12:35 AM
This is not right! Check with children's hospital of Pittsburgh. This pneumonia is caused by mycoplasma and is highly contagious! Get your facts right before you post it as truth and news!
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 12:36 AM
What the pulminoloy dept told me is that it's and epidemic that they, the school doesn't know about.
Mike Jones (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I think we need to clarify some things Dr. Carpathios said. He acknowledged that this illness is contagious, but wouldn't go so far to say that it is highly contagious. He also categorized it as a "community-based" illness that is more prevalent in hospitals and nursing homes, but can also spread in schools. And from his quote, he makes it pretty clear that you can contract it from someone who is coughing. I'm baffled by why you think I didn't get the facts right.
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 03:33 AM
Because I spoke with the head of pulminology at Children's . His words were that the school had an epidemic and was not aware of it. The other pediatrician that I spoke with has treat + 6 children so far with this. If you Google the bug Mycoplasma that's causing it you'll see how nasty it is. I wish I could talk with you about it If I had your email I'd send my phone number. I'd love to explain to you what I know . You may then confirm for yourself and make an informed decision as to where this news article should go.
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 03:40 AM
Community based illnesses are what? How contagious? The good doctor - and I take nothing away from him is a house doctor at st Clair - not a specialist in pediatric pulminology. The children's specialist that I spoke with also said he has friends in Boston that have seen this all through the schools there too and in the northeast - foes that sound like its not highly contagious? Also you do not develop a life long immunity f to this, unlike say measles or chickenpox. Please read up on this bug which is similar to a virus but if free living like bacteria. It is nasty and from what I e learned shouldn't be taken lightly
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 04:02 AM
Also does the doctor you contacted know this pneumonia is caused by mycoplasma? The spread is airborne so 1 child coughs or sneezes and an entire classroom can be infected- if I am wrong ill apologies and retract everything- but what if I'm right- would you feel ok with your own children in a classroom or cafeteria where this imaginary child as an example sneezes or coughs?
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Finally it seems that if both the school administrators and schoo board were required to have children that attend these schools perhaps the level of their concerns might be different...
Mike Jones (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 04:19 AM
I suggest you put the school district in contact with the doctor you talked to today. I doubt they're going to take this lightly.
Domenic Marian February 02, 2012 at 11:24 AM
I did - they sent out that letter. Do you think hand washing will stop this? If it was your child in that school how would you feel? Thanks.
Mike Jones (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 01:14 PM
I'm not a doctor so I don't know what will stop this. But it seems that the best advice from the doctor is to monitor your child for symptoms and take them to a pediatrician if you suspect anything.


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