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Two Fayette County high school students test positive for whooping cough

One of the two high school students who tested positive for whooping cough attends Bryan Station, the other Lexington Catholic, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
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One of the two high school students who tested positive for whooping cough attends Bryan Station, the other Lexington Catholic, according to the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.

Two Fayette County high schoolers have tested positive for whooping cough. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department made the announcement Monday. Spokesperson Kevin Hall said one student attends Bryan Station and the other, Lexington Catholic. He said both tested positive Friday.

“It is highly contagious, and it's usually spread in school systems or in daycare settings, places where kids are gathering and, so it's not uncommon to see this in the schools. Now fortunately, here in Lexington, it’s been over two years since we've had a case in school-aged children.”

Hall said he doesn’t know whether the students who tested positive had been vaccinated for whooping cough, or pertussis – but noted it is a vaccine-preventable disease.

“It is something that is part of the regular childhood immunization schedule. You can still get pertussis if you're vaccinated. If you are vaccinated, you are more likely to have milder symptoms and not be as sick for as long.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, whooping cough can cause serious illness in people of all ages, but it’s most dangerous to babies. The health department recommends preventive antibiotics for high-risk students who were exposed to whooping cough.

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John McGary is a Lexington native and Navy veteran with three decades of radio, television and newspaper experience.
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