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Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Whooping cough hits Medfield -- again

MEDFIELD

Whooping cough has turned up in Medfield again.

A Blake Middle School student was diagnosed with whooping cough today, and health officials are now working to identify any other students who may have contracted the illness, which is also known as pertussis.

An e-mail was sent to all parents advising them to contact health care professionals or the school nurse if a child has a severe cough or a cough that lasts longer than a week.

The illness infects people through germs that spread via sneezing, coughing, or talking and is most dangerous to infants, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems.

In October, five high school students were treated for whooping cough, which is a "very common" illness during cold months, said Donna Rheaume, spokeswoman for the state Department of Public Health.

-- Charlie Russo

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