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Cases of whooping cough reported at Powell River school

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POWELL RIVER, B.C. – Cases of whooping cough have been confirmed at a local elementary school.

According to the Powell River Peak, cases of the disease were found at James Thomson Elementary School on Sutherland Avenue.

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) Communicable Disease Control notified staff, students and parents in a letter on Monday that they may have been exposed, according to the Peak report.

The disease was apparently discovered at the school between December 3rd and this past Monday, January 14th.

Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. It’s a highly contagious bacterial disease that is caused by bacteria in the mouth, nose and throat of the infected.

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It can spread when the sick person coughs or sneezes.

VCH stated that it might take seven to 10 days and as many as 21 days to feel symptoms, depending on the case.

Symptoms can include long coughing spells. Those spells can be so bad in some cases that the person gags or vomits.

The cough can last up to two months, according to VCH. It can also be life threatening for infants under one year old.

According to the Peak, parents and teachers at the school have been asked to take the letter to their health-care provider in order to seek treatment.

Antibiotics can reduce the length of the cough, and the earlier a patient is treated, the less likely they are to spread the disease to others around them.

A request for comment has been sent to Vancouver Coastal Health, School District 47 and James Thomson Elementary School.

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