In November, Boise Weekly reported that the Whitman County Health Department in Washington declared an outbreak of pertussis, otherwise known as whooping cough, following several cases of the bacterial infection in Pullman, Wash.
Today, the Associated Press reports that as many as seven cases of the illness have been diagnosed this week at schools in Idaho's Marsh Valley. To keep students and faculty safe, District Superintendent Marvin Hansen dismissed students in area schools Dec. 19 until school returns to session Monday, Jan. 6.
The dismissal adds two days to the students' holiday break.
Whopping cough is characterized by persistent cough, particularly if it's accompanied by vomiting, a whooping sound, bleeding, fainting or breathing pain. It's typically averted by vaccination, but antibiotic regimens are also used in the event that the disease is contracted.