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North Carolina school has whooping cough outbreak; 7 infected

A North Carolina elementary school has sent six students and one staffer home with whooping cough.

Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools spokesman Jeff Nash tells The News & Observer that warnings have been sent to parents of children who came into contact with those infected at Glenwood Elementary School. He says the disease pops up at area schools every few years.

The preventable disease can lie dormant for up to three weeks and spreads though coughing or sneezing. The coughing may start at levels similar to those of a normal cold, but can become violent enough to cause vomiting and exhaustion. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the whooping cough vaccine for babies, children, teens, adults and pregnant women.