A student at Saugus High School in Santa Clarita has been diagnosed with whooping cough, according to a letter distributed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, the Santa Clarita Valley Signal reported.

In the letter sent Tuesday, health officials informed parents that at least one person had pertussis, or whooping cough, and that because students had been in “close contact with this person,” parents had to be contacted.

Whooping cough can spread from a cough or sneeze and can start with cold-like symptoms that continually get worse, eventually becoming coughing attacks that last several seconds.

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