Whooping cough case confirmed at Randolph Co. school

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RANDOLPH COUNTY, N.C. — Weeks after a series of whooping cough cases were confirmed in three Alamance County schools, a case has now been confirmed at a Randolph County school.

The case was confirmed at a child at Hopewell Elementary School in Trinity, said Mimi Cooper, county health director.

Every child at the school had been vaccinated for pertussis, but the vaccine is not 100 percent effective, Cooper said.

Letters have been sent to parents of children in close contact with the student, recommending they be treated with antibiotics as a precaution, Cooper said.

Also, Randolph County Schools officials are sending a general letter to all parents, saying that whooping cough, or pertussis, cases have recently shown up in nearby Alamance, Randolph and Guilford counties.

The case comes despite every child at the school having up-to-date vaccinations for pertussis, Cooper said.

Pertussis is a bacterial infection that often starts with typical cold symptoms before turning into prolonged bursts of coughing, which sounds like whooping, in one or two weeks. Some may simply have a cough that lasts for several weeks.

Younger children are at the most risk for pertussis, especially those less than a year old. They often go to the hospital and can stop breathing after their coughing spells.

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