(Lorain County) - The Avon Local Schools have informed parents that two elementary pupils were recently diagnosed with whooping cough.

Superintendent Michael Laub says the students are in the same grade level and probably had contact with each other, with one passing the ailment to the other.

Laub tells Newsradio WTAM parents and guardians are taking the news in stride. He's urging families to watch for the symptoms because the incubation period can extend for nearly three weeks. If a child develops symptoms they should be treated right away.

Laub says they are continuing to work with the Lorain County General Health District.

Ohio health administrators are encouraging Ohioans to get up to date on booster shot vaccinations against whooping cough amid outbreaks around the state.

The Ohio Department of Health says the highly contagious disease is one of the most commonly occurring vaccine-preventable ones in the United States. The disease also known as pertussis is usually spread it by coughing or sneezing.

Health officials say it affects all ages but is most severe for babies. More than half of infants less than 1 year of age with pertussis must be hospitalized. It can be deadly in rare cases.

Officials say 901 Ohio cases were reported as of Nov. 2, compared with 742 by that date last year.

Pertussis usually starts with cold-like symptoms before it progresses to a persistent cough with spasms.

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(Photo by Ken Robinson/WTAM)

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