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Pisgah High student diagnosed with whooping cough

A student at Pisgah High School in Canton has been diagnosed with whooping cough, an infection that causes a severe cough that can last for weeks. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

A student at Pisgah High School in Canton has been diagnosed with whooping cough, an infection that causes a severe cough that can last for weeks.

The student is on antibiotics and recovering at home.

The Haywood County Health Department identified people who had been within three feet of the sick student for more than an hour and administered antibiotics to them, as well.

The department also sent a letter home to parents advising them to monitor their kids carefully.

“Just be very vigilant for the next three weeks. Watch for any type of upper respiratory symptoms. Go to your doctor if the child has any type of symptoms that we put in this letter,” Public Health Services director Patrick Johnson said.

Those symptoms include runny or stuffed nose, coughing very hard, gasping for breath or vomiting after coughing.

Most children get vaccinated against whooping cough at kindergarten time, with booster shots in middle school. But not all students are vaccinated. The Health Department said if parents want to reduce any concern, they can go to the health department for a free vaccine.

Johnson said these cases are rare, one at this point. But two more he said would get "outbreak" status.

“If there were two more cases in the schoo,l we would exclude those children without a vaccination for three weeks,” he said.

The last whooping cough case in Haywood County schools occurred in 2010. Officials said there's no evidence other schools are involved.

"I'm not real concerned. My child had vaccinations when he was younger,"parent Andrea Hudson said. "If he gets a cough or something, I'll definitely keep an eye on it and take him to the doctor if needed."


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