Arkansas health officials say a student in the Lincoln Consolidated School District which borders Adair County in eastern Oklahoma has been diagnosed with Pertussis, known as whooping cough.
According to a letter sent to parents from the Arkansas Department of Health, whooping cough is a "highly contagious disease involving the respiratory tract caused by a bacterium called bordetella pertussis."
Mary Ann Spears, district superintendent, told KFSM TV, the CBS affiliate in Fort Smith, apparently three children from one family have the disease. One child is in the elementary school, one is in the middle school and one is in the high school.
In Oklahoma, the state Department of Health said preliminary numbers for 2013 show 229 cases of Pertussis. In 2012, the number of cases was 158; in 2011, it was 70; and in 2010 there were 199 cases reported.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Pertussis is an endemic disease in the U.S. with peaks in disease every 3 to 5 years and frequent outbreaks. In 2012, 48,277 cases of Pertussis were reported in the United States.