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Whooping cough outbreaks lead to increased immunization

On Health

Almost three dozen students at Adams Elementary School in Eugene are staying home from school due to an outbreak of whooping cough.     

Lane County Health Officials have received notice of 149 whooping cough cases throughout 34 schools, eight of which have been declared outbreaks. The county typically sees close to 20 confirmed cases and did not record an outbreak last year.  

Cindy Morgan is with Lane County Public Health and says that large case numbers are frequent every couple of years.

“We believe that vaccination rates increase as people become aware of outbreaks and individuals are encouraged to get vaccinated, so our vaccination rates go up," Morgan says. "And then we don’t tend to see outbreaks of this scale for a number of years.”

Students who do not meet vaccination requirements are being issued exclusion notices and will not be allowed on campuses. Morgan says with allergy season some symptoms go unnoticed, but it’s a good idea to get children tested for pertussis if they have a cough.