Second Fayetteville junior high school student diagnosed with whooping cough

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA) – A Fayetteville Public Schools spokesman confirmed that a second student has been diagnosed with pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

Alan Wilbourn with the school system confirmed the diagnosis Tuesday afternoon.

This new diagnosis comes a week after a student from Woodland Junior High was diagnosed with pertussis. That student had not been vaccinated. The second student diagnosed with pertussis is also from Woodland, Wilbourn confirmed.

The school system sent a letter to parents on April 3 that was written by Dirk Haselow with the Arkansas Department of Health. The letter states that the parent’s child had been in close contact to a student diagnosed with pertussis, which he described as a “highly contagious disease involving the respiratory tract caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis.”

The letter went on to state that the Department of Health requires the exposed child to receive a preventative antibiotic so not to become ill.

“If your child does not receive the antibiotic by April 8, 2019, he/she will be excluded from attending school and school activities until approved to return by the Arkansas Department of Health,” the letter states.

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