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Six cases of whooping cough detected at Citrus School

By Colin Steiner, csteiner@krcrtv.com
Published On: Nov 22 2013 08:04:24 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 22 2013 09:01:55 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Chico Unified School District is doing all they can to inform parents about a whooping cough outbreak at Citrus Elementary School that has now reached six students in six different classrooms.

Wednesday night district officials announced four confirmed cases of pertussis, or whooping cough, at Citrus School.

Friday morning they were informed of two more, bringing the total number of cases to six.

Since the outbreak was discovered dozens of letters have gone out to parents.

Those letters ask that students in certain classes where the disease was present be evaluated for the respiratory disease that can cause fits of coughing that make it hard to breathe.

David Scott, Assistant Superintendent of Education Services with Chico Unified School District, wants to be clear that not all students need to be checked out.

"The biggest concern of pertussis is actually for younger children, for infants and toddlers," says Scott. "It can have much more serious implications for that group."

For that reason, the letters are just as important for warning parents who may have younger children at home.

Whooping cough is a highly contagious disease and district officials want parents to be proactive in treating it, which is fairly easily done with antibiotics. Preventative antibiotics are also available.

For more information on pertussis you can visit the Butte County Public Health Department's webpage, or call a public health nurse at 530-538-2840.