A student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita has been diagnosed with whooping cough, according to a letter distributed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.
In the letter sent Tuesday, health officials informed parents that at least one person had pertussis, or whooping cough, and that because students had been in “close contact with this person,” parents had to be contacted.
Whooping cough can spread from a cough or sneeze and can start with cold-like symptoms that continually get worse, eventually becoming coughing attacks that last several seconds.
“As the person catches his or her breath at the end of each coughing attack, they may make a ‘whoop’ sound,” the release from health officials read. “It can cause serious illness, leading to hospital stays and even death, especially in infants less than 6 months old.”
Whooping cough can be treated and prevented from spreading with antibiotics. If children begin exhibiting signs of whooping cough, parents are advised to take them to their doctor immediately, and not send them to school.
Anyone looking for more information can contact Diane Hamburger, Saugus High’s assistant principal, at (661) 297-3900, according to the Signal.
In addition to discussing whooping cough, Santa Clarita health experts are sending out information about flu season being right around the corner, according to officials quoted by the Signal. The standard vaccine is for adults aged 18 years and over and children aged 9-17 years with parental consent.