NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Louisiana Department of Health says a possible case of whooping cough has been found at a New Orleans school.

Spokesman Bob Johannessen said one student at the Broadway campus of Audubon Charter School was found to have a suspected case of the highly contagious disease.

Earlier this month, news outlets reported that Metairie Park Country Day canceled its last week of classes because of five cases among its students. Johannessen said Wednesday that only two of those cases met national criteria for confirmation.

So far this year, 43 cases of whooping cough, also called pertussis, have been confirmed in Louisiana, Johannessen said.

Statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that Louisiana's infection rate for whooping cough has been well below the national average for years. A preliminary report shows the state had 120 confirmed cases last year, for a rate of 2.56 cases for every 100,000 residents. The national figure was 4.13 cases per 100,000 residents.

The Country Day students had been vaccinated, but even vaccinated people can be susceptible.

Tulane University has said its scientists have a National Institutes of Health contract to see whether adding nanoparticles shed from bacteria to the current vaccine will make it more effective in animals.


Information from: The Times-Picayune,

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