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Providence holds vaccination clinic

November 21, 2011

Health officials will offer free vaccines for pertussis today at a Providence middle school after a student came down with the disease, commonly known as whooping cough.

School and health officials say just one case of the illness was reported at Gilbert Stuart Middle School on November 15th. 22 students and faculty came in close contact with the infected student, and all of them have been offered antibiotics as a precautionary measure.

Pertussis is a highly contagious disease spread by coughing. It begins with cold symptoms and a cough, which becomes worse over a one to two-week period. Symptoms can include a coughing fits followed by a “whooping” noise or a fever.

Health officials say that in a typical year like 2010 there were 44 reported cases of whooping cough in Rhode Island.

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