Kyrene School District warns parents of whooping cough outbreak
By FOX 10 News Staff
TEMPE, Ariz. -
The Kyrene School District is warning parents that their schools are seeing an outbreak of whooping cough.
The school district sent out a letter out to parents warning them about the outbreak.
It says there have been several cases, but no exact number was given.
The recent outbreak has health officials concerned because they've seen the number of cases of whooping cough climb over the past few years.
The Arizona Department of Health Services says they've seen more than 1,100 cases so far this year, compared to about 900 this time last year.
Some schools in Tucson are taking action against the disease by banning kids who haven't been vaccinated for at least two weeks.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is very contagious, especially for babies who are too young to be vaccinated.
According to the CDC, people with whooping cough spread it by coughing or sneezing in close contact with others.
A lot of the babies who ended up getting it are infected by parents, siblings or caretakers.
"With pertussis, there's always cycles where it peaks every three to five years, but there's rise in waiting immunity that's been undiscovered with our pertussis vaccines. They're very effective in the first two years, we need to ensure that people are getting vaccinated," said Clarisse Tsang, with Arizona Department of Health Services.
The Arizona Department of Health Services says they looked at all the cases of whooping cough that they've seen so far this year and believe most could have been prevented with vaccination.
Early symptoms can last one to two weeks and usually appear as nothing more than a common cold.
Symptoms include runny nose, low grade fever and a mild occasional cough. Then as the disease progresses and you get fits of coughs followed by a high pitch whoop.