THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Doctors at Thomasville Archdale Pediatrics are hoping to not have a repeat of what happened in their community about this time three years ago.
"We had a very large outbreak of pertussis in our community," said Dr. Diana Roberson. "We treated hundreds of kids just in this office for whooping cough."
Two students at North Davidson High School were diagnosed with the serious respiratory illness last week. Both have been treated with antibiotics and are back at school. Whopping cough is highly contagious and is spread through coughing and sneezing.
The Davidson County Health Department sent home a letter last week urging parents to monitor their children closely for symptoms.
"It's a real hard and deep cough and it's a different sounding cough. It may look like a cold at first, start off with a runny nose, but then the cold doesn't go away and cough gets much worse," said Health Department RN Karen Coppley.
Most at risk for serious complications from whooping cough are babies and younger children, who are exposed to it from adults and other caregivers. "It can be deadly, especially in small children."
Doctors say to help prevent an outbreak of whooping cough, make sure your younger kids have their DTaP vaccination on schedule and that older kids get their Tdap vaccination booster in sixth grade.
According to the State Health & Human Services Department, this is the breakdown for how many confirmed cases there are per county so far this year. In Guilford County, 11 people diagnosed. In Alamance, Randolph and Davidson, three confirmed cases each and in Forsyth, two confirmed cases.