Whooping cough confirmed at Michigan school - WNEM TV 5

Whooping cough confirmed at Michigan school

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A Michigan school district has confirmed cases of Pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

"If there's one infection in the school and the kid is not properly been diagnosed for it, potential is there for him to go, or her to go and continue to infect other kids." said Sparrow Urgent Care Physician, Song Yu.

Yu said whooping cough can be a very serious illness, especially in young children.

"We recommend treatment within the first 7-10 days, the problem is though until you get the symptoms that are obvious you're not going to have that until week 2 or 3,” he said.

Administrators at Grand Ledge Public Schools released a letter stating there have been confirmed cases of the disease in the school system.

The letter asked parents to get their students vaccinated before entering kindergarten and to keep children at home if they show any signs of the illness.

"If there's a prolonged period of what seems to be just a simple cold, with a fever and cough, then perhaps that's the time to say you know, maybe we should go and have a check and make sure it's not pertussis,” Yu said.

Yu said whooping cough is highly contagious and symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, or a dry cough.

However, after two or three weeks those infected will develop a persistent, high-pitched cough.

“The person cannot stop coughing and that's where the problem usually arises from because you know when you start coughing like that, you can't breathe,” Yu said.

Yu said whooping cough can be treated with antibiotics if detected early enough.

However, he said even those who have been vaccinated are still at risk.

Although most children are given the vaccine for whooping cough during routine childhood immunizations, booster doses are required over time.

Copyright 2017 CBS News / WLNS. All rights reserved. 

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