Whooping cough reported at Lake Wylie school

A case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough has been diagnosed at Crowders Creek Elementary School, according to a letter sent home to parents on Thursday.

The letter was accompanied by a fact sheet on the illness and a letter from the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

“Whooping cough is an illness that begins with mild, cold-like symptoms...The cough typically worsens over the following weeks and becomes spasmodic,” according to the letter. Whooping cough gets its name from the “whooping” sound that often follows a coughing fit.

People can catch whooping cough through coughing, sneezing or direct contact.

Parents are being urged to watch their child for symptoms over the next three weeks and to alert their child’s doctor if they see any symptoms.

All children are required to be vaccinated against whooping cough before they go to a public school, although children can be exempt if their parent has a medical or religious exception.

The CDC reports there are between 10,000 and 40,000 reported cases of whooping cough nationwide each year and says “institutional outbreaks” are common.