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More than 30 cases of pneumonia reported at West Valley school

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — Dozens of cases of pneumonia have been reported at a West Valley elementary school since classes began in August.

Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for disease control at the Maricopa County Public Health Department, said 31 reports of pneumonia have been associated with Verrado Elementary near Indian School Road and Verrado Way in Buckeye.

“We’re working closely with Verrado to make sure that all of the rooms are cleaned appropriately, that there’s hand-washing stations in every classroom and to make sure that they’re keeping kids home when they’re sick,” Sunenshine told KTAR News 92.3 FM on Friday.

She said students in almost every grade have gotten sick with what’s called “walking pneumonia” caused by the bacteria Mycoplasma pneumoniae.

This type of pneumonia is spread when an infected person coughs or sneezes around others, she said.

Sunenshine said this illness can only be treated with a certain type of antibiotic, so it’s important for parents to let doctors know what’s been going around.

“Parents need to know that if their child develops fever and a cough or other respiratory symptoms to bring them to a health care provider,” she said.

“And bring the letter that’s been sent home by Public Health, so their provider knows that Mycoplasma is going around and which antibiotic to treat it with.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Nailea Leon contributed to this report.

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