Whooping cough hits Lincoln HS students, staff

The Multnomah County Health Department to send a letter to parents

Lincoln High School in Portland, Sept. 4, 2015 (KOIN)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Eighteen people at Lincoln High School may have whooping cough, prompting the Multnomah County Health Department to send a letter to parents.

Both students and staff are ill, but not all of the cases have been confirmed. The health department said anyone with whooping cough symptoms should not go to school or have contact with children under the age of 1 or with pregnant women.

CDC: Pertussis

Whooping cough, or pertussis, is an easily spread infection that causes severe coughing. It generally starts out with cold-like symptoms and develops into violent coughing fits.

According to the CDC, the best way to avoid whooping cough is to get a vaccine, which babies usual get in the combination DTaP along with vaccines for diphtheria and tetanus. The protection fades over time and a booster is recommended every 10 years.

Doctors treat the infection with antibiotics.