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Whooping Cough Identified At A Salem Elementary School
Updated January 15, 2015 7:52 AM | Filed under: Health
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(SALEM) - Three cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has been identified in Bradie Shrum Elementary School and some children and staff may have been exposed either in the classroom or on the bus, according to a letter sent home to parents from Bradie Shrum Elementary Principal Brent Minton.

"We want you to be alert for the symptoms of pertussis should they occur in your child," wrote Minton.

Minton says the mother of the student notified the school as soon as she knew the child had pertussis and then school officials began notifying other parents of the possible exposure.

The health department says three people, two juveniles and one adult, are being treated with antibiotics for the disease.

Officials says, pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a "whooping" sound.

Officials say the most effective way to prevent pertussis is through vaccination with DTaP for infants and children and with Tdap for preteens, teens and adults -- protection from the childhood vaccine fades over time. But the Indiana State Department of Health has identified cases of pertussis in children who have received all their pertussis shots.

The letter from school stated : "Although your child may appear healthy in between coughing fits, please do NOT send your child to school if he or she has any of the signs and symptoms of pertussis. If you think your child may have pertussis, call your child's doctor immediately so your child can be treated. Please return the doctor's note to the school. If your child comes to school with these symptoms, you will be called to take your child home and will need to take him/her to a doctor to be checked for pertussis."

You can find more information about whooping cough on the ISDH website:

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