Friday, July 1, 2011


Thirteen students in three schools in Smithtown, New York have been confirmed with the contagious bacterial infection called Whooping Cough.

Officials say all of the Smithtown students had been immunized, helping to reduce the severity of their illness.

What Is Whooping Cough?

Whooping cough is a respiratory tract infection that can make you cough for several minutes at a time. After you cough, you might make a "whooping" sound when you breathe in. Very young children are more likely to make the "whooping" sound than older children and adults. You also might vomit or stop breathing for a few seconds after coughing. Whooping cough is also called pertussis.

What Causes It?

A bacteria (germ) causes whooping cough. Whooping cough is highly contagious, which means other people can easily catch it from you.

The bacteria that cause whooping cough are released into the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes. You can get whooping cough if you breathe in these bacteria. You can also get it if you touch a surface (such as someones hand) that is coated with the bacteria.

You should see your doctor if you think you have whooping cough or if you have been around someone who might have it.

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