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RHS is dealing with a whooping cough outbreak

Rosemount High School officials are doing everything they can to track down people who might have come in contact with two individuals diagnosed with whooping cough.

According to a letter sent to parents July 25 an individual who attended an open gym at the school has been diagnosed with whooping cough. Principal John Wollersheim said school officials have determined the individual could have had contact with individuals taking part in Irish Gym, an opportunity for students to lift weights; a football camp run by Irish coach Jeff Erdmann; and basketball open gyms held by athletic director and boys basketball coach Mike Manning.

"Fortunately for us we're on summer break, so there's not as much student activity here," Wollersheim said.

According to, whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is an infection of the respiratory system characterized by severe coughing spells that end in a whooping sound when the person breathes in. Before the development of a vaccine it killed 5,000 to 10,000 people in the United States each year.

The first symptoms include a runny nose, sneezing, mild cough and low-grade fever. After a week or two the cough turns into coughing spells that can last for more than a minute. Children may turn red or purple during coughing spells and sometimes vomit when the spell ends.

RHS sent letters to the parents of any kids who could have come in contact with the infected individuals. Wollersheim said there is no health risk remaining at the school.