Metro

Officials confirm whooping cough outbreak at N.H. high school

EXETER, N.H. — New Hampshire state officials say they’ve confirmed an outbreak of whooping cough at a school in Exeter.

Jake Leon, director of communication for state Department of Health and Human Services, confirmed Monday there are currently 22 diagnosed cases of pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, associated with Exeter High School. Leon tells the Portsmouth Herald that the case is considered an outbreak because it is so high compared to the state average.

Associate Superintendent Esther Asbell says the school district had not yet been informed of the total number of whooping cough cases. The school notified the state Division of Public Health Services on June 1 after a student was diagnosed with whooping cough.

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Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory tract infection, marked by severe coughing sounding like ‘‘whoop.’’