Boxes of Tdap vaccinations are seen at Hurtt Mobile Clinic outside Tustin High School in Tustin, Calif., in this photo taken Thursday, Aug. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Whooping cough confirmed at Vancouver elementary school

Doctors urging parents to ensure children are vaccinated, and given preventative antibiotics if needed

Health officials have confirmed one case of whooping cough at a Vancouver elementary school.

In a letter sent to parents of students at Ecole Laura Secord Elementary Vancouver Coastal Health said that students may have been exposed to the illness sometime between Feb. 7 and Mar. 7.

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a contagious disease of the lungs and throat caused by bacteria in the mouth, nose and throat. Initial symptoms, which mirror have a cold, can take seven to 21 days to show.

After one to two weeks, symptoms will worsen to long spells of coughing that often end with a whoop or crowing sound. The coughing can become so harsh that it causes gagging or vomitting.

READ MORE: Whooping cough confirmed at Saanich high school

Vancouver Coastal Health said it recommends that anyone who may have been exposed should make sure their vaccinations are up to date, and visit a doctor to be prescribed preventative antibiotics.

There have been two cases of whooping cough confirmed on the Vancouver Island in recent weeks, including one in Saanich and the other in Duncan.

It is not uncommon for cases of whooping cough to occur in B.C., the health authority said.


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