Whooping Cough Cases Worry Maine Residents

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Whooping cough cases are on the rise in Kennebunk, Maine.

Superintendent Andrew Dolloff wants parents to take precautions at home before sending their children to school.

Parents have been asked to not only vaccinate their children against whooping cough, but to be vaccinated themselves.

Said Dolloff, “We don't want to create hysteria, but it is important to share when there are situations where there is a contagious disease that we want folks to be aware of.”

A student at the Middle School of the Kennebunks contracted the disease earlier this week. This is the sixth known case of whooping cough within the school district and the fourth at the middle school alone.

“We just always take it upon ourselves to notify parents that this is out there,” said Dolloff. He added that school officials have been trying to warn parents about the serious nature of the disease and giving them all the necessary information.

When students are diagnosed with whooping cough, the school sends them home for a minimum of five days. It is a mandatory measure that is meant to help prevent the contagious illness from spreading to other students.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that children be given five doses of the vaccine to protect against whooping cough.

The problem is that even if a young child if properly vaccinated, it’s possible for the vaccine to wear off.

The CDC strongly recommends a booster shot for adolescents between the age of 11 and 18 to counteract this.

Whooping cough is a very serious illness. It can progress to pneumonia and lead to seizures or brain damage. If not properly treated, it’s possible that an infected child could die.

In order to prevent the spread of whooping cough, it’s best to keep your hands washed and remember to cover your mouth when you cough.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

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