Three school districts in Maine say they’ve received reports of students diagnosed with whooping cough.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed one case at Harrison Middle School in Yarmouth and two other cases at Edward Little High School in Auburn. Parents were alerted Thursday to a third case in the Falmouth school system.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious disease that causes violent coughing and can result in death for young children infected with the disease. It is preventable via vaccination, but newborn children — who are at the highest risk — are too young to receive the vaccine.
According to a Maine CDC report, Maine identified 410 cases in 2017 — a 58 percent increase from the year before.