- Associated Press - Sunday, September 17, 2017

ASHLAND, Ore. (AP) - Jackson County health officials are responding to an outbreak of whooping cough in Ashland schools.

Jackson County Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames told the Mail Tribune last week that there are two confirmed cases and one suspected case. All three had contact with each other.

School and health officials have not said where the outbreak of the very contagious respiratory illness, also known as pertussis, has occurred.

A joint statement from the Ashland School District and Jackson County Health Department said employees and students may have had contact with a person with confirmed pertussis during the first two weeks of school.

Health officials said Oregon law requires children who have been exposed to pertussis but are under vaccinated to be excluded from school for 21 days.

Whooping cough is spread by coughing and sneezing. Young children, especially infants who’ve not had all their vaccinations, can be particularly susceptible.

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