Whooping cough case confirmed in Carmel school

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A confirmed case of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, has been identified in Carmel.

The infected student attends Orchard Park Elementary School and has family members at Carmel High School, according to a letter sent to parents. Some students and staff may have been exposed either in the classroom or on the bus.

The first symptoms of pertussis are similar to the common cold but may also include a low fever. After a week or two, the cough will become worse and may develop into coughing fits or spasms followed by vomiting or trouble catching a breath. Sometimes, younger children will have a "whoop" sound after a coughing fit.

Infected children may appear healthy in between coughing fits, so district officials asked parents not to send children to school if he or she has any of the signs and symptoms of pertussis. If a child is found with these symptoms at school, his or her parents will be called to take them home.

Keeping children up-to-date with pertussis vaccine helps prevent the disease, but the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH) has identified cases of pertussis in children who have received all their pertussis shots. Check to make sure all members of your family have been fully vaccinated against pertussis. Your physician or local health department should be able to help you to determine if vaccination is needed for any in your family.

You can find more information about whooping cough on the ISDH website.