School officials from a Maine high school say there are now 12 confirmed cases of whooping cough, report local media.

The superintendent of Regional School Unit 5 said Friday that there are 12 confirmed cases, up from three last week. School officials said they hope the winter holiday break will stop the spread.

Whooping cough is spread from person to person through sneezing or coughing. Symptoms of whooping cough typically start out like the common cold, with a sore throat, runny nose and low-grade fever. Symptoms can worsen after a week or two.