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Student vaccinated for pertussis diagnosed with whooping cough

Posted at 6:24 PM, Feb 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-28 22:30:31-05

A student at Labelle High School, vaccinated for pertussis (whooping cough), was recently diagnosed with the respiratory disease.

The Florida Health Department informed parents of the diagnoses in a letter that was sent out on Monday. 

"Pertussis is a communicable (contagious), vaccine- preventable disease that lasts for many weeks. It is transmitted person though direct contact with respiratory secretions or via droplets produced from talking or coughing," The Florida Health Department said in a letter.

The disease begins with mild upper respiratory tract symptoms and leads to spasms of severe coughing, whooping, and even vomiting.  

The Health Department is encouraging older children, and adults, including pregnant women, to get a one-time pertussis booster shot called "Tdap".

The booster shot is said to help prevent pertussis. 

Most children enrolled in school have the Tdap vaccination since it is a requirement for school attendance.

The Florida Health Department in Hendry County is investigating and monitoring the situation. All close school contacts identified to date have been previously vaccinated.