2 Cases of Whooping Cough Reported at School in Lakeville, Massachusetts

Two cases of whooping cough have been reported at a school in Lakeville, Massachusetts.

School officials sent out a notice this week informing parents that two students at Freetown Lakeville Middle School have confirmed cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory tract infection marked by severe coughing sounding like "whoop." It is caused by bacteria that spreads from person to person with close contact. It is often mild in older children and adults but can cause serious problems for infants.

It usually begins with cold-like symptoms, with a runny nose, sneezing and dry cough. The next stage is marked by uncontrollable coughing spells, often followed by vomiting.

Testing is recommended for anyone who has symptoms or develops symptoms, and antibiotic treatment is required before students can return to school.

Anyone whose child has any symptoms is urged to contact their health care provider.

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