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Five Students Diagnosed with Whooping Cough in Davis in Past Week

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DAVIS -- Five new cases of pertussis -- commonly known as whooping cough -- surfaced among Davis students within the past week.

"The five cases are notable, so we're keeping an eye on it to make sure that it does not turn into an outbreak," said Yolo County Public Health Officer Dr. Rob Chapman.

"We've heard of cases where people had the whooping cough, and it's a dangerous disease. We wanna make sure we're taking steps to avoid that," Davis dad Jonathan Long said.

Pertussis is spread through coughing and can be deadly. But the disease is treated with antibiotics.

"Why we want people vaccinated, not only to protect themselves, but to protect the vulnerable people in our community," the doctor said.

Those people include babies, elderly folks and pregnant women. People undergoing chemo are also at risk.

Long had both his sons vaccinated. His son's school Da Vinci Charter Academy's junior high branch, along with Davis High School are the two schools affected by pertussis.

Dr. Chapman says the disease is cyclical -- popping up every three to five years. In 2010, California experienced the most cases within the past 50 years. Yolo County saw a spike two years ago.

"Keep it posted about what's going around the schools, and make sure you're current on the vaccines," Long added.

Da Vinci and Davis High got the word out to parents via email, similar to this district's form letter.

And aside from getting tested at your doctor's office, the whopping cough is unmistakable.

"People make the whopping noise when they cough. It's a cough like you've never had before. It's a cough that just goes on and on and on," Chapman said.