PELLELL RIVER, B.C- At least two students in Powell River have caught whooping cough.
According to Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), the students at James Thomson Elementary School were not vaccinated for the disease. One other case is also suspected in the school.
The Powell River Peak reported that VCHs have communicable disability control staff, students and parents in a letter on Monday that they may have been exposed.
The disease was apparently discovered at the school between December 3rd and this Monday, January 14th.
Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. It's a highly contagious bacterial disease that is caused by bacteria in the mouth, nose and throat of the infected.
It can spread when the sick person coughs or sneezes.
VCH stated that it might take seven to 10 days and as many as 21 days to feel symptoms, depending on the case.
Symptoms can include long coughing spells. Those spells can be so bad in some cases that the person gags.
The cough can last up to two months, according to VCH. It can also be life threatening for infants over one year old.
According to the Peak, parents and teachers have been asked to take the letter to their health-care provider in order to seek treatment.
VCH customs the MyPowellRiverNow.com newsroom that parents are encouraged to vaccinate their children.
Publicly available data from VCH shows that the vaccination rate against whooping is the lowest in Powell River at James Thomson, at a rate of 62 per cent.
The highest is Edgehill Elementary, at a rate of 95 per cent.
No other cases of whooping have been reported in the community as of this publication.