Five new cases of 'whooping cough'

Five new cases of 'whooping cough' »Play Video
BOISE - Local health officials are keeping a close eye on Treasure Valley schools after a handful of students have come down with whooping cough.

In the last two weeks five cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, have been reported, with the most recent afflicting a Valley View Elementary School student. A student at Whitney Elementary has also been diagnosed with pertussis.

Three of the new cases have struck high school students at Borah and Timberline, which follows a trend that began last fall when epidemiologists at CDHD started tracking an outbreak at Mountain Home High School, followed by another at Eagle High School. In all, nearly two dozen cases of pertussis have been diagnosed.

Parents should be aware that pertussis infection can result in serious respiratory illness, sometimes even hospitalization. Pertussis bacteria are spread through the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Pertussis can affect persons of all ages, but the very young are particularly susceptible.

CDHD strongly recommends parents ensure their children are appropriately immunized against pertussis. Parents and those spending time around young children should contact their medical providers about pertussis immunizations.

Or they can call the Central District Health Department Immunization Nurse Line at 321-2229 for more information.