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Whooping Cough Present in Odessa and Grapevine School District

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The whooping cough illness, or pertussis, is a serious illness that can impact people of all ages but can especially cause concern in infants. Currently, there are two cases of this sickness confirmed at Grapevine High School and one case at Milam Elementary in Odessa.

WFAA writes that in Grapevine, district officials have sent out a letter informing parents about the illness and how they need to be diligent to not spread the infection by touching tissues or sharing a cup with someone. News West 9 reports that the Ector County Independent School District (in Odessa) has sent a similar letter and is closely monitoring the situation to make sure the illness doesn’t spread.

The CDC explains that in its earliest stages, pertussis seems like a common cold, but in about 1 – 2 weeks, symptoms can increase to “…Paroxysms (fits) of many, rapid coughs followed by a high-pitched ‘whoop’ sound; Vomiting (throwing up) during or after coughing fits; Exhaustion (very tired) after coughing fits.” This can continue for 10 weeks.

When teens and adults contract pertussis, they generally go through a milder case. Getting the pertussis vaccine helps to keep the illness at a minimum. But babies who contract pertussis often experience apnea, or a pause in breathing, and will need to go to the hospital. Read more about the disease here.