The Tama County Public Health Department continues to receive notification of new Pertussis or "whooping cough" cases in the STC high school and middle school. The symptoms may start like a cold, then progress to a severe cough. It's a highly contagious disease that can be especially serious - even fatal - for infants. Whooping cough spreads through close contact from person to person (through coughing, sneezing, and saliva contact). If your child has symptoms AND has been exposed through a close contact, please keep them out of school and contact your physician for further testing and treatment. Your child will need to stay out of school until a negative test result is received or 5 days of antibiotic treatment is completed.