Whooping cough reported at Forsyth County schools

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FORSYTH COUNTY, N.C. — Multiple cases of whooping cough have been reported at Forsyth County schools.

Theo Helm, Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools chief of staff, said seven cases of whooping cough have been confirmed at Piney Grove Elementary School in Kernersville.

Helm said another student who attends classes at Mount Tabor High School and the Career Center is confirmed to have whooping cough.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis, according to the CDC.

Pertussis is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After fits of many coughs, someone with pertussis often needs to take deep breaths which result in a “whooping” sound. Pertussis can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old.

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