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Whooping Cough Outbreak Grows In Weld County

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University Middle School in Greeley (credit: CBS)

University Middle School in Greeley (credit: CBS)

GREELEY, Colo. (CBS4)- A mysterious whooping cough outbreak continues to grow in Weld County.

Ten cases have been confirmed at University Middle School in Greeley. School officials said they’re doing everything they can to stop the disease from spreading.

Several letters have been sent to parents warning them of the outbreak and what symptoms to look for.

Courtnee Clymer’s son started exhibiting symptoms earlier this month.

“He came home with a cough about a week or so ago,” said Clymer.

He’s one of about 70 students who are absent from University Middle School because of the whooping cough outbreak.

“I did take him to the doctor yesterday and then test results came back positive today,” said Clymer.

Health officials in Weld County have confirmed 10 cases of whooping cough at the school. Some students are absent because of symptoms. Others who have not been vaccinated are being asked to stay home until it’s safe to return.

The University Middle School Nurse Jane Weber said she’s never seen a whooping cough outbreak in her 25-year career.

“It is a bit of a mystery,” said Weber. “All of the students involved in this outbreak we’re monitoring are fully immunized so that is puzzling because I would not expect to have that happen.”

Most of the confirmed cases have come from students on the school’s track team.

“Worst cough I’ve ever had,” said whooping cough sufferer Jamie Williams, an 8th grader. “I’d cough so hard my eyes would flash, it was crazy.”

“I just didn’t think that this was happening anymore,” said Clymer.

CBS4 Medical Specialist Dr. Dave Hnida commented on why some students may be getting sick even if they are vaccinated against whooping cough.

“Most kids wind up getting in their series of immunizations, vaccines against it, and they won’t wind up getting whooping cough. But unfortunately, over time the immunity begins to wear off so most of the cases we’re seeing are in middle school and young adults,” said Hnida.

Whooping cough usually sticks around for a while, it’s known as the “100 day cough.”

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