Student’s whooping cough case has Coast families on edge

A student in Coolum has contracted whooping cough.
A student in Coolum has contracted whooping cough.

COOLUM State School families are on alert for whooping cough after a student was diagnosed with the illness.

In a Facebook post yesterday afternoon, the school said the Sunshine Coast Public Health United had been notified of a case of whooping cough at the school.

"We recommend that anyone who develops a cough that is unusual for them should see their local doctor immediately," the post said.

The post was rapidly circulated by school parents.

In a post, one said the infected child had been identified in a letter as a Year 2 student.

The school described whooping cough as a "highly infectious illness spread by coughing and sneezing".

"The illness is troubling and distressing at any age but can be very serious in young infants."

The school pointed out that vaccination offered good protection to young children but that waned with time and even vaccinated children could develop and spread whooping cough.

Queensland Health says whooping cough symptoms usually appear seven to 10 days after exposure but could be up to three weeks afterwards. The cough is treated with antibiotics.

The first symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing and tiredness, similar to a cold, before a cough develops.

Queensland Health says coughing bouts can be very severe and frightening, and may end with a crowing noise (the "whoop"), followed by vomiting or gagging. Children may have difficulty breathing or turn blue.

Topics:  vaccination whooping cough

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