Semester Ends Early After Whooping Cough Outbreak at S.C. College

GREENVILLE, S.C. – Officials at Bob Jones University ended the fall semester Dec. 7, a week early, after 16 students were diagnosed with whooping cough or were suspected of having it.

The outbreak started after a student, infected with the illness, returned for the fall semester. Four cases of whooping cough are suspected, while 12 cases have been confirmed, officials said.

The school tested 158 students for the infection. Those students were then isolated and given antibiotics. As a precaution, 1,200 students who showed no signs of symptoms were also given the vaccination.

In order for students to return for the spring semester, they must have proof they received the immunization shot. Currently, 2,000 students have already been vaccinated.

According to the Department of Health and Environmental Control, the highly contagious bacterial infection known as whooping cough begins with a mild cough and a low fever. It then escalates to a chronic cough, followed by a “whooping” sound after the infected person inhales.

School official believe the infection will not spread when students go home for the winter break.

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