New cases of whooping cough reported at UO, Monroe Middle School

The newly confirmed cases add to 12 already confirmed at Sheldon High school.

Posted: May 4, 2018 7:17 PM
Updated: May 4, 2018 7:38 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Students and staff at the University of Oregon are on high alert after two students were diagnosed with whooping cough.

There has also been at least one case at Monroe Middle School in Eugene, after a dozen were diagnosed with the disease at Sheldon High School last week.

“I'm going to the doctor today because I think I have it right now,” said Raegan Burke, a UO student.

Both cases of whooping cough at the university have been diagnosed in the past week. The university's medical director told KEZI he doesn't see whopping cough often.

"The last case I recall here was about three years ago," Richard Brunader said.

He said both of the current cases at the university are students, and one of them lives on campus.

“The more people in a concentrated area, the more high risk there is of transmission," Brunader said. "We have notified individuals that we think were in the vicinity like, through classrooms and so forth. We are working with the health department of identifying any more what we consider close contacts or high-risk contacts."

Other students have been notified through email and other alerts.

Brunader said if anyone notices any symptoms of whooping cough, they should go right to the doctor. He says it normally starts with common cold symptoms, then develops into a persistent cough.

Last year, the vaccine became a requirement for students at UO, Brunader said.

“I would say of the incoming class about 91 percent are immunized," hesaid.

Still, students are being extra vigilant. A few said it's important for them to stay healthy right now, because they're in the middle of midterms.

Brunader is reminding students to wash their hands and not to share food or drinks to keep it from spreading further.

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