PERTUSSIS CASES: Parents Warned Of Outbreak

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The Polk County Health Department is warning families with kids at three Des Moines schools about an outbreak of whooping cough.

Eleven cases have been diagnosed so far and letters have been sent to parents at Weeks Middle School, Lincoln High School, and Lincoln South. The letters outline some steps to take to avoid getting pertussis, also known as whooping cough.

It’s suggested that those over the age of 10 should get a Tdap booster shot. Anyone at the three identified schools with a cough is advised to contact their doctor.

“Although the number of positive cases is not unusually high, given the geographic concentration of the cases and the contagious nature of pertussis, we believe additional steps are warranted,” said Terri Henkels, Director of the Polk County Health Department.

Pertussis is easily transmitted through the air when someone with the illness coughs.

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