Health officials in Christian County, KY, said they are investigating a confirmed case of whooping cough at Holiday Elementary.
The student has five siblings who have pending lab tests, according to Tiffany Bolinger, Christian County Health Department public information officer. Those siblings attend Hopkinsville Middle and Hopkinsville High School.
The child and family members had been vaccinated for whooping cough, which is also known as pertussis, yet still confirmed positive, Bolinger said.
Close contacts are being notified via telephone and instructed to contact healthcare providers of their choice for treatment, Bolinger added.
A letter and fact sheet has been sent home with all Holiday Elementary students informing parents of the confirmed pertussis case and providing education on symptoms.
A similar letter and fact sheet will be sent home with Hopkinsville Middle and Hopkinsville High School students within the next two days. Families will also be contacted through the Christian County Public School's Connect Ed calling system.
Whooping cough is, according to information from the Centers for Disease Control, a very serious respiratory infection caused by bacteria. It causes violent coughing that you can't stop. Whooping cough is most harmful for young babies and can be deadly.
The DTaP vaccine protects against whooping cough.
Symptoms include: runny or stuffed-up nose, sneezing, mild cough and a pause in breathing for infants. After one to two weeks, coughing starts and can be severe.
Whooping cough spreads easily through the air when an infected person breathes, coughs or sneezes. It can be spread for at least two weeks after coughing starts.
For more information from the CDC, you can call 1-800-232-4636 or visit their website.
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