District: Whooping cough reported at 2 Pickens Co. schools - FOX Carolina 21

District: Whooping cough reported at 2 Pickens Co. schools

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EASLEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -

A spokesperson for the school district said they are handling two cases of whooping cough at two Easley-area elementary schools.

According to John Eby with the School District of Pickens County, the first case was confirmed at West End Elementary and parents were first notified last week.

He said a second case is being looked into at Forest Acres Elementary and the district is treating both cases the same. He said Forest Acres parents received a call Sunday.

Letters from the Department of Health and Environmental Control will go home with students at both schools Monday notifying them of the pertussis cases, with information on symptoms to look out for and more, Eby said.

According to the letters, students could have been exposed to whooping cough at Forest Acres on or before March 27 while students at West End could have been exposed between March 10 and 21.

According to DHEC, pertussis is spread through the air after an infected person coughs or sneezes and it starts like a cold with symptoms of runny nose and an irritating cough. Within one to two weeks, the cough turns into coughing fits where the person struggles for breath.

DHEC said the coughing and gasping sounds like a high-pitched whooping noise, the fits occur more frequently at night, and are often followed by vomiting. Between spells, the person may appear to be well. Adults, teens, and vaccinated children may have milder symptoms.

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