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Whooping cough strikes Oak Harbor schools

Students and parents have been notified that an Oak Harbor High School student and Hillcrest Elementary School teacher have been diagnosed with pertussis, more commonly referred to as whooping cough. Both of the individuals came down with a persistent cough and are getting treated with antibiotics.

According to Communicable Disease Coordinator Katie Hicks of Island County Public Health, there have been three confirmed cases of pertussis on Whidbey Island in the past month, but none of them have required hospitalization. For more information, click here.

“We want people to be on the lookout for cough illness,” Hicks said, “and especially when we’re having some exposure like this in the community, we want people to check and make sure that their immunization records are up to date.”

Immunizations against pertussis are recommended for every age, and infants with symptoms should be brought in to see a doctor immediately. Hicks said there are five doses of pertussis vaccines children need before the age of 7, and there’s a booster shot that should be administered between ages 11 and 12. Additionally, the Tdap vaccine should be administered to adults.

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