Multiple cases of whooping cough have been reported at East Chapel Hill High and Chapel Hill High Schools.
Jeff Nash, Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools spokesperson, said the district was communicating directly with parents and working closely with the Orange County Health Department.
Several cases of whooping cough were reported in Orange County, but those numbers fluctuate said Iulia Vann, Public Health Services Manager at the Orange County Health Department.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a bacterial respiratory infection similar to the common cold, and is characterized by a loud “whooping” cough that accompanies the symptoms. It is especially contagious within the first couple weeks of contraction, and is easily transmitted Vann said.
It is particularly dangerous for infants and young children. The coughing spells can cut off their air supply and cause difficulty breathing which can lead to death. Most whooping cough deaths occur in young infants, who haven’t received the full dose of vaccination yet.