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It’s scary not being able to breathe: Woman who had whooping cough says she’ll never forget it

May 2, 2019

Six students and one faculty member at Glenwood Elementary School have been diagnosed with whooping cough, according to a spokesperson for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools.

The students and administrator were sent home from the school earlier this week, and parents have been notified of the situation.

Nurse Coordinator Tracy Sanders said she now hopes to prevent that number from rising.

“It is pretty easily spread by coughing and sneezing, that’s why it’s important to use good hand-washing techniques and cover your month when you sneeze,” she said.

Carol Hadler had it as a young child. She said she will never forget it.

“I think it’s a scary thing, to not be able to breathe. You know, breathing in, and there’s just no breath coming in,” she said.

According to the CDC, symptoms of whooping cough can develop five to 10 days after a person is exposed to the illness but can sometimes take up to three weeks to appear.

Early symptoms of the illness include a runny nose, low fever and a mild cough but, as the disease progresses, people will experience fits of rapid coughing followed by a high-pitched whooping sound, vomiting and exhaustion.

Whooping cough is easily spread from person to person through coughing and sneezing, but the disease can be prevented through vaccination, which is required by Chapel Hill Carrboro City Schools.

School officials say they are working closely with the county health department to monitor the situation.