Six students and one staff member at Glenwood Elementary School were diagnosed with whooping cough, a spokesperson for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools said.
CHCCS spokesman Jeff Nash said the seven people infected, whose ages range from 8 to 24, are completing treatment, with some already well enough to return to school. Parents were notified of the outbreak with a letter from the Orange County Health Department.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a respiratory infection characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a whooping sound when the person breathes in. The Orange County Health Department said the first symptoms of whooping cough are similar to those of a common cold, including low-grade fever, runny nose and sneezing.
Infants and young children are most at risk for whooping cough. According to the letter sent to Glenwood parents, children are routinely immunized against whooping cough with the TDaP vaccine as an infant and again around age 4 or 5.
Those infected with whooping cough are treated with antibiotics.