Whooping cough outbreak affects Weber County

OGDEN, Utah (AP) — Health officials say an outbreak of whooping cough has affected more than 30 students at three Weber County schools and their family members.

The Weber-Morgan Health Department said Friday that one infant was hospitalized and five others have experienced symptoms, but most of the 31 affected by the contagious respiratory infection are recovering.

The infant is home now and also recovering.

Officials at Wahlquist Junior High, Plain City Elementary and Evergreen Montessori Academy sent letters to parents about the outbreak earlier this week.

Weber-Morgan nurse Amy Carter says whooping cough, or pertussis, symptoms can last as long as three months if left untreated.

The disease is characterized by severe coughing fits and often mistaken for a bad cold. People with symptoms are urged to remain home until they take antibiotics.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.