Whooping cough cases at North Middle School up to nine

The number of cases of whooping cough at North Middle School in Menomonee Falls has reached nine, and now includes one teacher.

Kathy Zarling, Director of Pupil Services at North Middle School says they're monitoring these nine cases closely, because for every case, they've found another 50 or 60 students who have had close contact with the affected individual.

"For students that have been in close contact, it's recommended that they go to the doctor, and that they be treated with an antibiotic as a pro-active measure," Zarling said.

Those potentially affected students should also remain in quarantine until the test results come back. If the results are negative, and there are no symptoms, then they can return to school, although they must remain on the anti-biotics.

Once a child tests positive, their family members need to go on anti-biotics as well.

Also, any child who tests negative for whooping cough, but has a persistent cough, will be treated as a probable case.

With the growing number of cases at this school, the Waukesha County Health Department still isn't classifying it as an outbreak, but as a cluster.

"It's still relatively contained in the eighth grade, and it's not a situation that's been district-wide, or school-wide and definitely not county-wide," Zarling said.

What is unique about these cases is that the affected children have been vaccinated against the illness.

The Waukesha County Health Department says there is a 22 percent increase in whooping cough cases throughout the state this year.