CLAYTON, MO - St. Louis County health officials are warning parents to take precautions now that 16 cases of whooping cough have been reported among children in west and northwest parts of the county.
Fourteen of the cases were in the Parkway School District. The other two cases were in the Hazlewood district. The 16 combined cases are just two fewer than all cases reported in the county last year.
The county health department is sending a letter to doctors alerting them to the outbreak and seeking their help in reporting cases.
Symptoms include a prolonged cough that ends in a whooping sound when the person breathes in.
Whooping cough is highly contagious and can lead to pneumonia and, in rare cases, death.