Recreation District

Kimberly Elementary School students hang out on the playground in February 2015 in Kimberly.

DREW NASH, TIMES-NEWS FILE PHOTO

KIMBERLY — A whooping cough outbreak has been reported at multiple Kimberly schools.

The school district was notified Monday by South Central Public Health District.

Students or employees who exhibit symptoms of pertussis — otherwise known as whooping cough — will be required to go home, Kimberly School District Superintendent Luke Schroeder wrote in a Tuesday letter to staff and parents.

They won’t be allowed to return to school without written documentation from a health care provider.

Health officials weren’t available Tuesday afternoon to provide details, including how many cases were reported.

The first whooping cough case at a Kimberly school was reported a couple of weeks ago. Since then, the number of cases has grown.

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SCPHD recommends Kimberly students and teachers should watch for symptoms and update their immunizations if they’re not current on the pertussis vaccine.

Those diagnosed with pertussis suffer from coughing in “explosive bursts ending with the typical high-pitched whoop, and occasionally, vomiting,” according to a SCPHD letter to the school district earlier this month.

Coughing often continues for four to six weeks. Symptoms generally develop within two weeks of exposure. Pertussis is spread by contact with droplets in the air from coughing or sneezing.

Those affected can return to school after five days of antibiotic treatment.

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