SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA) — A student at Elmdale Elementary School has been diagnosed with pertussis, also known as whooping cough, according to Rick Schaeffer, the school district’s spokesperson.
“The student with whooping cough has two siblings at two other Springdale schools and they have not tested positive with whooping cough. Both students have been treated and families at their schools were notified Thursday as a precaution,” according to Schaeffer.
Arkansas Department of Health requires students in the same school with a student with a confirmed case of whooping cough who have vaccine exemptions for pertussis vaccine or no record of the vaccination, to be excluded from school for 21 days from the date of exposure.
Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old, according to the CDC.
In the last two months, at least two students at Washington Elementary School in Fayetteville were diagnosed with pertussis and the Pea Ridge Intermediate School had one case and Siloam Springs School reported having a possible case of whooping cough.
For more information on pertussis, click this link from the Centers for Disease Control.