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Olmsted County Public Health confirms cases of whooping cough at Mayo High School

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- The Olmsted County Public Health announced Wednesday that Mayo High School has two confirmed cases of pertussis.

Pertussis, also known as "whooping cough," often appears with symptoms like a common cold. The symptoms include runny nose, low-grade fever and a mild cough, according to a news release from Olmsted County Public Health.

The persistent cough develops a week or two after that and can end in a high-pitched whooping sound. Coughing attacks may continue for 4 to 6 weeks and are more common at night. Pertussis can lead to pneumonia, particularly in infants.

Public Health said that two vaccines are available for pertussis:

· DTaP vaccine is given to infants and children under 7 years of age. The recommended schedule is 5 doses of vaccine given at ages 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 12 to 18 months and 4 to 6 years.

· Tdap is recommended for anyone ages 10 and older.

Public Health wants parents know that if they have a child who isn't up to date on their vaccinations, to contact their healthcare provider. It also cautions that the vaccine isn't always 100 percent effective and that immunity can decrease over time.

Representatives for Public Health haven't confirmed how many students have tested positive for pertussis.

The Minnesota Department of Health recommends that any student with a cough lasting at least seven days be tested for the disease.

Megan Zemple

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