GREENVILLE, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Greenville Public School District is alerting parents about a case of whooping cough at the high school. The district sent a letter home this week urging some students to stay home; it's also listed on the district's website.
In the letter, the district says, "children who have not completed a full course of pertussis vaccinations will be excluded from school if the disease is known to be present in their building only."
Marcus Cheatham, the Mid Michigan District Health Department Health Officer, said that exclusion would last 20 days for the few families that have chosen to not have their child vaccinated. Cheatham said the district would work with the families to ensure their children do not fall behind in school.
Cheatham was not surprised to see the case, noting there have been 1300 in Michigan in the past year.
"Were excited about what happened in Greenville because almost all of the students who are not vaccinated have come in to get vaccinations and we're probably going to be left with two or three families that will hold out," he said.
The district is also asking parents to contact the school with updated immunization records and if their children have not received vaccinations, to contact their family doctor.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is spread through sneezing and coughing and can take up to 10 days for symptoms like sneezing, a runny nose, mild dry cough, and a low grade fever to develop after exposure. After about one to two weeks, more serious coughing spells develop that can last for more than a minute and result in difficulty breathing.
Health experts say whooping cough is a serious illness, especially in young children. It's important to know it can be treated with an antibiotic.
If your child does develop symptoms, the Greenville School District is asking to keep your child at home.