Two children from Washington Elementary School in Kennewick have confirmed cases of whooping cough.
Letters were sent home to parents of Washington students Thursday explaining the outbreak and what symptoms to look for in their own children in the coming days.
Whooping cough, or pertussis, is a highly contagious bacterial disease that causes uncontrollable, violent coughing and can make it hard to breathe.
"Our nurses are very cognizant of what's happening at the schools and are on the lookout for any students with symptoms," said Lorraine Cooper, Kennewick School District spokeswoman.
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Initial symptoms are similar to a common cold and lead to severe coughing within two weeks. Another symptom is when vomiting occurs with the coughing.
There is an immunization for whooping cough, and Cooper said the Kennewick School District is seeing more parents getting their children immunized.