A whooping cough outbreak has been confirmed in two high schools in the Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools district.

Officials with the Orange County Health Department confirmed the pertussis outbreak on Monday.

Iulia Vann is the public health services manager on the department’s communicable disease team and said there are “a few cases” of whooping cough among ages varying from 11 to 54 years old.

“Most cases are at East Chapel Hill HS and Chapel Hill HS,” Vann wrote in an email.

Vann added that numbers of cases are “fluid” during an outbreak, but that officials are “continuously monitoring” the situation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that whooping cough “usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever.”

As the disease progresses, symptoms evolve to fits of rapid coughs, vomiting and exhaustion.

The CDC also says the pertussis vaccine is beneficial and important to prevention.

A letter was sent to every family and staff member in the district on Monday from the director of the Orange County Health Department. The full letter is linked below: