Dec 31, 2011 12:05 PM by Trovette Tottress
BURLINGTON, N.C. (AP) - Authorities say four additional cases of whooping cough have been identified at an Alamance County elementary school.
The county Health Department says it didn't order lab tests to confirm the diagnosis because the people have whooping cough symptoms and were in contact with the three children with confirmed cases at B. Everett Jordan Elementary School in Graham.
Officials say nine more people are showing some symptoms and are considered probable cases of the bacterial infection, which is also called pertussis.
All students and staff members at the school are being given a preventative antibiotic.
The disease causes fits of coughing that can leave patients fighting for air. The once-common sickness was dramatically reduced by vaccinations starting in the 1940s, but has since made a comeback.