Schools in eastern Idaho's Marsh Valley district have closed for the winter break two days early after several students were diagnosed with whooping cough.
District Superintendent Marvin Hansen told The Idaho State Journal that the health department notified the school this week that there were as many as seven confirmed cases of pertussis, commonly called whooping cough, in the district. To keep the infectious illness from spreading, schools closed Thursday. Students will return to class Jan. 6.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention caution that whooping cough is very contagious and can cause serious illness or even death for babies too young to be fully vaccinated.
Hansen says now is a good time for parents to make sure they and their children are up to date on vaccinations.