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Parents alerted to multiple whooping cough cases at Glen Allen High

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. – Multiple cases of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, have been reported at Glen Allen High School, according to the school officials

In a letter home to parents, the Henrico County Health department confirmed they are seeing an increase of pertussis in the county.

“When a case of pertussis is identified, the Virginia Department of Health recommends that parents of children and individuals who may have been in close contact with the case be notified,” the letter read. “In the high school environment it can be difficult to determine exactly who would have had close contact with the case, so we provide general education to the entire school as it is also possible to be exposed to pertussis in the community setting.”

Pertussis is a respiratory illness caused by bacteria that affects people of all ages characterized by severe coughing. It is spread through sneezing and/or coughing.

“Although pertussis is usually not a life-threatening illness, it can be very serious in infants (less than one year of age) and in individuals with compromised immune systems or chronic medical conditions,” the letter continued. “Pertussis can be treated successfully with antibiotics and can be prevented by age-appropriate vaccinations in children and adults.”

Symptoms can emerge seven to 21 days after exposure.

“Individuals without symptoms or with only mild cold-like symptoms do not need to be tested or treated at this time,” the letter concluded.

This comes after Henrico County school officials notified parents at Springfield Park Elementary School in Glen Allen about possible cases on April 25.

Here is the letter in full: