Another student at Ferndale High School has been diagnosed with whooping cough, the Whatcom County Health Department said Monday.
There was a reported case in March as well.
The health department has notified other students and staff who may have come into contact with the ill person. They are being told to monitor themselves for symptoms of what also is known as pertussis, a highly contagious bacterial infection.
The Ferndale School District also notified parents on Monday, saying that people who were within three feet of the ill student for more than one hour could become sick between April 29 and May 23.
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It is usually spread through coughing or sneezing, with symptoms appearing some 21 days after exposure.
The illness is especially dangerous for babies, who have more severe symptoms that include intense coughing spells as well as difficulty eating, drinking, breathing or sleeping.
Older kids and adults may have a runny nose and low fever, followed by a persistent cough. Not everyone who has whooping cough makes the classic “whoop” sound, the health department said.
As of April 29, there have been at least 16 cases of whooping cough this year in Whatcom County, according to a Washington Department of Health weekly report.
To protect yourself, public health officials recommend making sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations, washing your hands, covering your cough, and staying home when you’re sick.
Learn more online at doh.wa.gov/whoopingcough.