FISHERS, Ind. (WISH) - A Hamilton County school district is alerting families that their children may have been exposed to whooping cough, a contagious illness that can be particularly dangerous for infants.
- ONLINE EXTRA | Read the letter from Hamilton Southeastern School District to parents
Seven cases of the illness, which can be spread through the air by coughs and sneezes, have been confirmed at five different schools in the Hamilton Southeastern School District: Fishers Junior High and Riverside Intermediate schools, and Lantern road, Brooks School, and Hoosier Road elementary schools.
Symptoms usually appear about a week after exposure to the bacteria, and at first resemble a common cold. After a week or two, the cough becomes more severe, and can even progress into coughing fits that can induce vomiting and breathing difficulty. Some people with the illness, formally called pertussis, produce a whooping sound as they try to catch their breath after a coughing fit, hence the common name of the illness.
The school is advising parents to keep children suspected of having the illness home from school to avoid further spreading the illness. More information on the illness, its symptoms and treatment is available on the state Department of Health website .
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