WATAUGA COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - One case of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, was confirmed Wednesday in a student attending Watauga High School.
According to the Appalachian District Health Department, school and health officials reported the affected student is being treated, per guidelines established by the State of North Carolina and the Centers for Disease Control, and is fully cooperating in following isolation instructions.
According to the CDC, "Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease. The disease is known for uncontrollable, violent coughing which often makes it hard to breathe. After cough fits, someone with the disease often needs to take deep breaths, which result in a "whooping" sound. It can affect people of all ages, but can be very serious, even deadly, for babies less than a year old. The best way to protect against pertussis is by getting vaccinated."
Officials advise the public to please be sure each of their own family-household members, especially infants and young children, are up to date on their immunizations.
If you or your family members have a chronic health condition that might increase the risk of a respiratory infection, please seek advice from your health care provider whether or not precautionary antibiotics might be recommended.